The deal with Siam Commercial Bank pushed the price of Bitkub’s virtual currency Bitkub Coin (KUB) up 200% to a record $2.85 on the night of November 2, from just 98 US cents the day before.. .
Cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Online Co. has become the latest Thai startup valued at over $ 1 billion after agreeing to sell a majority stake to Siam Commercial Bank Pcl – the largest bank by market capitalization in the Southeast Asian country, according to Bloomberg.
Siam Commercial Bank Pcl announced that the bank will buy back 51% of Bitkub shares for 18.75 billion Baht ($535 million). With this deal, Bitkub becomes the largest virtual currency exchange in Thailand with a valuation of about 35 billion Baht (equivalent to about 1.05 billion USD).
According to CoinGecko, the price of Bitkub’s Bitkub Coin (KUB) virtual currency increased by 200% to a record $2.85 on the night of November 2, from just 98 US cents the day before. Siam Commercial shares also rose 3.5% to a 6-week high.
Investment demand for financial products such as stocks and cryptocurrencies is booming in Thailand – Southeast Asia’s second largest economy – with a wave of young investors looking for opportunities to earn higher returns in the future. the context of low bank interest rates and decelerating economic growth.
Meanwhile, Siam Commercial’s decision to expand into virtual currency comes despite Thai lawmakers and authorities having repeatedly warned investors about the risks of virtual currencies.
“Bitkub has achieved a major turning point in becoming a key part of Thailand’s digital economic infrastructure,” said Jirayut Srupsrisopa, 31, founder and CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co. – the company that operates the Bitkub exchange, said in a statement. “Bitkub is no longer just a startup but is becoming an essential part of the infrastructure critical to the Thai financial industry.”
Meanwhile, Arthid Nanthawithaya, CEO of Siam Commercial, said that the investment in Bitkub will help the bank “create new value in the long term in the new financial environment” and help the bank meet the needs of customers. demand of new customers as well as entering the “competitive arena that will form very quickly in the next 3-5 years”.
According to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand, licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in the country hit a record 217 billion baht in revenue in May, up from a record 18 billion baht set in November 2020. . However, this number has since declined and averaged around 100 billion Baht/month in the August-October period.
Siam Commercial said that Bitkub, founded in 2018, profited about 1.53 billion baht in the first nine months of 2021, from revenue of 3.28 billion baht. The total trading value on this exchange reached 1,030 billion Baht in the first 9 months of the year, accounting for 92% of the total trading volume of all licensed virtual currency exchanges in Thailand.
Bitkub ranks 79th out of more than 300 exchanges in the world with a total trading value of $281 million in 24 hours, as ranked by CoinMarketCap.