Gulf Energy invests in Binance as part of a joint venture

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Gulf Energy Development partners with the Binance cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Binance expands its presence in Asia.

Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has teamed up with Gulf Energy Development, owned by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi to create a working business. Consequentially, Binance will seek a license to operate a digital asset exchange platform in Thailand as part of the collaboration.

As per today’s announcement, the business intends to invest in Binance and BNB tokens. Sarath Ratanavadi, the CEO of Gulf Energy, is Thailand’s second-richest person.

Gulf Energy ventures into the cryptocurrency industry

Gulf Energy Development Pcl is a Thailand-based holding company involved in the energy sector. The Company’s portfolio includes electricity, steam, chilled water generating projects, and other connected businesses. Additionally, the Company owns and sells electricity to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). Gulf Energy runs about 27 power projects in operation in Thailand and abroad.

In January, the partnership came amid rising demand for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in the Southeast Asian nation. According to Cryptopolitan Gulf Energy Development, PCL and Binance agreed to establish a joint venture by the end of the second quarter of 2022. 

On April 18, 2022, Gulf Energy made a public regulatory filing in which it announced its collaboration with Binance. The filing was addressed to The President of Thailand’s Stock Exchange. In Thai to English translation, part of the statement reads:

`Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited (the “Company”) would like to notify the Stock Exchange of Thailand that the Company, through Gulf International Investment (Hong Kong) Limited (“Gulf HK”), a wholly-owned subsidiary, invested in Series Seed Preferred Stock issued by BAM Trading Services Inc., the operator of a regulated digital asset exchange in the United States of America under the name Binance.U.S. `

On top of the Thai joint venture, Gulf Energy has committed to investing in Binance Coin (also known as Binance Coin). BNB is a cryptocurrency issued by the exchange that allows users to use its blockchain to access utilities. It is also an investment in the preferred stock of Binance US, which operates under the name Binance US.

In addition, on April 18, Gulf Energy applied for a subsidiary named Gulf International Investment Limited in order to invest an undisclosed amount into Binance. In March 2022, Gulf Energy announced that it would establish a subsidiary, Gulf International Investment Limited, which would invest in digital businesses outside of the nation.

According to a regulatory filing Monday from Gulf Energy to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, it stated: “The company believes that this multi-level cooperation with Binance, which is the global leader in blockchain infrastructure technology, is aligned with the company’s target to be the leader in digital infrastructure while providing further opportunities for the company to expand into other digital asset-related initiatives in the future.”

The Company also stated its intention to work with local authorities in a separate document. In a second filing, the business entity declared, “Following the establishment of the joint venture, it will apply for a digital asset exchange license and other licenses with relevant agencies.”

Binance’s operational ground in Thailand

A favorable crypto climate in Thailand complements the relationship between the two organizations. Thailand has witnessed an increase in the crypto investment and use since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic. In 2021, Thailand had roughly 170,000 cryptocurrency accounts. In January 2022, the number of users hit 2 million, demonstrating a strong interest in cryptocurrencies.

The Government originally intended to impose a 15% tax on crypto income. Due to public criticism, the planned 15 percent tax was abandoned. Until the end of 2023, traders who deal in exchanges that the Government authorizes do not have to pay a 7% VAT.

In December 2021, Thailand’s central bank declared that it was considering rules governing the usage of cryptocurrencies as a payment method. The initiative, which most likely sought to manage the dangers digital assets might pose to financial stability while also assuring investors, appears to have been effective.

In July, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating without a license. The offense is punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to 500,000 baht ($14,854). Binance said previously that the platform has never actively sought users in Thailand.

Binance has recently obtained separate licenses in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Dubai, allowing it to expand its presence in the Middle East. Its arrival in Thailand is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, crypto enthusiasts remain confident that it will be a success.

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