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Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank (K-Bank) has made a significant move to strengthen its position in the digital asset space. According to recent reports, the bank acquired a 97 percent stake in Satang, a local cryptocurrency exchange. The deal, valued at 3.705 billion Thai baht ($102.8 million), marks K-Bank’s strategic entry into the rapidly growing Thai digital asset market.

Kasikorn Bank Sets Sights On 20% Market Share In Thai Crypto Market Satang, established in 2017, has been operating as an exchange in Thailand, offering various services such as custody, staking, and crypto payments. Although the exchange’s spot trading volume has been relatively modest, approximately $430,000 in the last 24 hours, the acquisition provides K-Bank with a solid foundation to expand its digital asset services.

K-Bank’s subsidiary, Unita Capital, was responsible for executing the acquisition and was specifically established to invest in digital asset companies. This move aligns with K-Bank’s broader strategy, which includes the launch of a $100 million investment fund focused on web3, fintech, and artificial intelligence (AI). 

The bank aims to capitalize on the growing opportunities in these sectors while also capturing a significant portion of the Thai crypto market share, targeting a 20 percent share by 2024.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Satang will undergo a rebranding process and be renamed Orbix. Alongside the rebranding, Orbix will introduce three additional subsidiaries: 

Orbix Custodian, Orbix Invest (a digital asset fund manager), and Orbix Technology (a blockchain technology developer). This expansion will enable K-Bank to offer a comprehensive suite of digital asset services to its customers.

Traditional Banks Navigate Regulatory Challenges The crypto market in Thailand has been gaining support from traditional financial institutions. Kasikorn Bank’s rival, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), has also made investments in the crypto space. 

SCB had previously announced its intention to acquire Bitkub, Thailand’s largest crypto exchange, with a daily trading volume of $22.3 million. However, the deal was ultimately canceled due to regulatory concerns and fines imposed by the Thai authorities.

While Thai financial institutions are increasingly embracing the crypto market, regulators in the country have been tightening rules surrounding the operation of crypto exchanges. 

Earlier this year, Thailand banned digital asset lending services and implemented requirements for risk disclosures in crypto trading and promotions. These regulatory measures aim to protect investors and ensure the stability and integrity of the market in Thailand.

Overall, Kasikorn Bank’s acquisition of Satang demonstrates its commitment to expanding its presence in the Thai market. With the rebranded entity Orbix and its subsidiaries, K-Bank aims to offer a wide range of digital asset services to meet the evolving needs of its customers. 

The total crypto market cap continues its bullish momentum on the daily chart. Source: TOTAL on Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from 

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February 2024


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