Thailand’s financial sector witnessed a pivotal development as Kasikorn Bank, popularly known as K-Bank, announced the acquisition of a staggering 97% share in Satang Corporation, a key player in the country’s crypto exchange market. The deal, worth 3.705 billion Thai baht (approximately $102.8 million), was orchestrated through K-Bank’s new subsidiary, Unita Capital, specifically designed to invest in digital asset companies. Post-acquisition, Satang will undergo a comprehensive rebranding to become Orbix, a transition accompanied by the establishment of three new subsidiaries: Orbix Custodian, Orbix Invest, and Orbix Technology.
K-Bank targets Thai crypto market
Moreover, this acquisition comes in the wake of K-Bank’s recent launch of a $100 million fund aimed at advancing technologies in web3, fintech, and AI sectors. Significantly, K-Bank’s move seems poised to set the stage for intensified competition in Thailand’s rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market.
K-Bank has expressed its ambition to carve out a considerable slice of the Thai crypto market. Udomsak Rakwongwan, a professor at Kasetsart University and co-founder of FWX.finance, confirmed that K-Bank has successfully secured a crypto exchange license and is in the process of acquiring the remaining necessary permissions. Additionally, Rakwongwan pointed out the unique nature of the Thai crypto market, characterized by its substantial level of institutional support.
Hence, with a goal to secure 20% of Thailand’s crypto market share by 2024, K-Bank is not treading lightly. The financial institution has positioned itself as a formidable player, particularly in contrast with its rival, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), which is also making significant inroads in the crypto and web3 sectors.
Although K-Bank and SCB have seized considerable attention with their aggressive strategies, they are not alone in their endeavor to dominate the Thai crypto market. Thailand’s energy colossus, Gulf, has also ventured into this space, partnering with Binance through its Gulf Innova fund to introduce a regulated, localized version of the exchange.
While the acquisition positions K-Bank in an advantageous position, it’s also a harbinger of intensified competition. Companies with lesser capital may find it increasingly challenging to survive in a market now dominated by financial juggernauts. However, K-Bank has stated to the local media that it views the Satang acquisition as a strategic move to diversify its investment portfolio and services, even as it seeks to broaden its customer base in the crypto domain.