Market Watchlist: Thailand’s Blockchain Landscape 2023

Overview of the Crypto Market in Thailand

High Traffic on Crypto Data Analysis Websites

In 2023, the average monthly traffic to CoinMarketCap reached 648,000, which equals to 0.94% of the total population. Thailand’s per capita visit rate is 0.21% higher than that of the United States.

Significant Crypto Trading Volume

According to data from CoinGecko on leading digital asset exchanges in Thailand, such as Bitkub, Bitazza (broker), and Satang, the total trading volume from January to October 2023 totaled to USD $116,436,471,138.81, approximately 4.1 trillion Thai Baht.

In 2023, Bitkub dominated the market with a 77.04% share of the total trading volume for the year. Bitazza and Satang secured market shares of 21.60% and 1.36%, respectively. Notably, Satang was acquired by KASIKORNBANK (KBANK) in 2023 and subsequently renamed Orbix.

Source: Cryptomind

Surging Interest of Thai Users in Digital Asset Trading

According to Chainalysis’ Crypto Adoption Index, Thailand ranks tenth, with its total user activities on centralized exchanges, P2P trading, and DeFi protocols playing a part in its overall evaluation.

  • Exchanges: Thailand’s digital asset exchanges have over 2.94 million user accounts, which equals to 4.27% of the total population and is over half of the stock market’s 5.5 million accounts. This indicates rapid growth in Thailand’s crypto industry.
  • Binance: From January to November 2023, the average number of monthly visits to Binance in Thailand was 116,877, reaching its peak of 303,057 in January 2023.
  • Metamask: From September 2020 to August 2023, Thailand recorded over 797,931 wallet downloads. The highest number of downloads was in November 2021, reaching 88,539, likely influenced by the popularity of GameFi and the metaverse.
  • Dex: During the bullish market of 2021, DEX platforms like PancakeSwap had an average of 35,000 monthly visits. However, the number of visits decreased during the bear market.
  • Opensea: Dating back to the NFT boom in 2022, there was an average of 48,000 monthly visits to Opensea from Thailand, with the total number of monthly visits reaching its peak of 65,000 in July. Traffic decreased during the bear market.

Seven Licenses: Clear Regulatory Framework

Thailand’s financial industry is highly regulated, and the regulatory framework for digital assets is well-defined as well. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) follows similar strategies to the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other regions.

The primary legislation governing this area is the Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses, B.E. 2561. Financial institutions in Thailand, including banks and asset management entities, are required to report their investment and professional activities to the SEC.

Assets and activities regulated under the decree include:

  • Regulated assets: coins, tokens
  • Initial Coin Offering (ICO): ICO issuers and ICO portals
  • Digital asset businesses: Exchanges, brokers, dealers, fund managers and advisors.

There are seven licenses related to digital assets:

  • Digital Asset Exchange
  • Digital Asset Broker
  • Digital Asset Dealer
  • Digital Asset Fund Manager
  • Digital Asset Advisory Service
  • Digital Asset Custodial Wallet Provider
  • ICO Portal

Crypto is currently classified as a commodity, subject to a 7% transaction tax. Efforts are underway to reclassify crypto as an investment product like stocks.

Vibrant Crypto Ecosystem with Key Players Leading the Way

Digital asset activities in Thailand are focused on trading, broker/dealer services, and tokenization, dominated by core players. Traditional large enterprises have also entered the crypto market, including Thailand’s two major banks, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), KASIKORNBANK (KBANK), and leading energy companies like GULF and PTG Energy.

Source: Cryptomind
Source: Cryptomind
Source: Cryptomind
  • Exchanges: Beyond the previously mentioned high-traffic exchanges such as Bitkub and Orbix, the Thai clean energy and power company Gulf, in collaboration with Binance, has formed a joint venture named Gulf Binance Co., Ltd. It holds both the digital asset broker and exchange licenses, though operations have not yet begun. Additionally, SCB has introduced InnovestX, an investment app enabling investors to invest in Thai stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, digital assets, and funds.
  • ICO Portals: Two prominent Thai banks, SCB and KASIKORNBANK (KBANK), have entered the ICO portal business. SCB’s ICO portal is TokenX, and KASIKORNBANK (KBANK)’s ICO portal is Kubix. Additionally, XSpring has participated in ICOs, offering the sale of Sirihub Token, an investment token for Sansiri real estate projects. Sansiri is one of Thailand’s largest real estate developers.
  • Broker/ Dealer: Digital asset brokerage and dealing activities in Thailand fall under regulated activities. Licensed brokers include Bitazza, as mentioned earlier, SCB’s InnovestX, and XSpring, which launched a fully integrated crypto trading platform in 2022 with both broker and dealer operations. PTG Energy and Unit have collaboratively established Maxbit, holding a broker license issued by the SEC. However, they have not initiated business operations.
  • Advisory: Cryptomind Advisory, a subsidiary of Cryptomind, is the first company in Thailand to possess a license for digital asset advisory services. Its products include Cryptomind Research, covering in-depth research articles, industry reports, weekly reports, Cointalk, and news related to cryptocurrencies. Cryptomind is also one of HashKey Capital’s more prominent portfolio companies in Thailand.
  • Venture Capital (VC): SCB 10x is the venture capital under SCB, and KX is a venture capital launched by KBTG, a subsidiary of KASIKORNBANK (KBANK).
  • Web3: Thailand’s local Web3 projects primarily focuses on the gamefi/metaverse sector. Key projects include the gaming guild, GuildFi, with investors such as Coinbase Venture, Animoca Brands and Pantera, making it one of the most influential gaming guilds in Southeast Asia. Additionally, some NFT projects are popular in the community, including 3Landers and LonelyPop.

Supported by Cryptomind and KX Ventures

“I’m excited by the rapid expansion of Thailand’s web3 sector. With over 3 million overall crypto users and a 600% growth in the market in recent years, the dynamism in our DeFi and NFT sectors is clearly evident. Thailand is increasingly becoming a hotspot for digital nomads, drawn by our crypto-friendly policies, affordable living costs, vibrant food and beverage culture, and diverse cultural landscape. The nation’s robust digital infrastructure is a boon for remote workers.

Additionally, the adoption of Web3 technologies by financial institutions, bank and conglomerates in Thailand is a significant development, signaling a broader acceptance and integration of blockchain and crypto in mainstream business. Together with a balanced regulatory framework, these developments are propelling Thailand to a forefront position in the global crypto and blockchain arena.“ — Sanjay Popli, Co-Founder and CEO of Cryptomind

“In 2023, more enterprises entered the digital asset market in Thailand, active development of related regulations, more technology robustness, and vibrant communities give a positive outlook for meaningful innovations in the industry that could benefit a larger population.“ — Thanaarmates Arriyavat, Senior Venture Director of KASIKORN X

About HashKey Capital

Global in influence and crypto-native, HashKey Capital is a digital asset and blockchain leader helping institutions, founders and talents advance the blockchain industries.

As one of the largest crypto funds and the earliest institutional investor in Ethereum, HashKey Capital has managed over US$1 billion in client assets since its inception, with over 500 investments in infrastructure, tools, and applications.

With our deep knowledge across the blockchain ecosystem, HashKey Capital has built a robust network connecting founders, investors, developers, and regulators.

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