Binance eyes Thailand for latest crypto exchange expansion

Binance has locked in an agreement as Thai government officials expedite crypto regulations which could pave the way for the firm to open a branch in the Kingdom.

Binance is looking to re-establish crypto exchange services and possibly open a new branch in Thailand after signing an agreement with Gulf Energy Development PCL.

Gulf Energy Development PCL is a Thai holding company run by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi that focuses on the energy sector.

Gulf Energy reportedly made the agreement with the world’s largest crypto exchange based on the strong assumption that Thailand’s digital economy infrastructure will see “rapid growth” in the next few years.

The cooperative efforts between Gulf Energy, Binance, and the Thai government will be focused on exploring Binance’s options in the Thai market, which may include opening an exchange and related businesses in the Kingdom.

A spokesperson for Binance told Reuters on Jan. 17, “Our goal is to work with government, regulators and innovative companies to develop the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Thailand.”

The Thai digital economy is poised to see greater regulatory clarity for digital asset traders. The director-general for the Thai government’s Revenue Department made regulatory transparency a top priority this month after announcing a planned 15% capital gains tax on crypto trades on Jan. 6.

On Jan. 9, the Thai Digital Asset Association requested clarification on the specifics of the tax based on concerns from domestic traders that they may unintentionally violate the tax code.

Despite the positive developments, Thailand’s central bank has repeatedly issued warnings to commercial banks and local businesses over accepting cryptocurrencies as payments.

Related: Former Thai SEC chief lays out three critical issues with crypto taxations

Binance was on the receiving end of a criminal complaint from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July 2021. The complaint accused Binance of operating a digital asset business without a license and opened an investigation against the exchange.

The SEC stated that Binance ignored warnings from as far back as April 2021, and had wrongfully granted Thai citizens access to crypto trading on its website by “matching orders or arranging for the counterparties or providing the system or facilitating entry into an agreement.”

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