Thailand’s oldest bank plans to buy crypto exchange Bitkub

Thailand’s oldest lender, Siam Commercial Bank, has canceled plans to acquire a 51% majority stake in cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Online for around 18 billion baht ($500 million).

The deal to buy a majority stake in Bitkub has already stalled in due diligence more than 10 months since the offer was first unveiled in November 2011. The deal had valued Bitkub at over 1.0 billion dollars, making it the last unicorn in a country. once considered barren in terms of startups.

Siam Commercial Bank’s SCB X group has raised concerns about Thai regulators’ crackdown on crypto exchanges, including Bitkub. Earlier this year, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordered the cryptocurrency exchange to stop accepting new customers until it proved its platform was capable of accommodating the trading activities of its existing clients.

The SEC also issued improvement orders for Bitkub and other Thai cryptocurrency exchanges after users were blocked from trading during major price spikes in 2021.

“Although the results of the due diligence exercise did not reveal any irremediable material abnormal issues, Bitkub is currently in the process of resolving various issues in accordance with the recommendations and orders of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, which are uncertain in terms deadline to resolve these issues. Accordingly, the buyer and seller have agreed to terminate the transaction,” the bank said.

“SCB X Public Company Limited and SCB Securities Co., Ltd. remain committed to their strategic plans to expand into businesses related to blockchain technology and digital assets, which will play an important role in the economy and the financial sector. Thai,” the statement said. .

The Southeast Asian nation has already taken steps to embrace cryptocurrencies, rolling out regulations and guidelines to accommodate the activities and opportunities that blockchain offers.

Last year, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission issued a series of new regulations for crypto businesses, some of which were restrictions that sparked public outrage. More recently, he proposed new guidelines that would govern the custody of digital assets held by cryptocurrency operators.

Current rules already require crypto exchanges to share user information with regulators, whenever funds are transferred between companies, to mask a growing number of illicit activities under the guise of the global crypto industry. change.

Earlier in 2021, crypto fund managers and investment advisers also had to apply for a license to continue their activities. As things stood, fund managers trading assets that did not fall within the legal definition of securities, futures, or equivalent financial instruments were not subject to SEC oversight. Investors in crypto funds managed by unregulated portfolio managers also did not enjoy the protection of investor compensation funds.

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