The report underscores Thailand’s central position in Asia’s crypto scene, propelled by widespread adoption, a notable increase in digital asset trading volume, favorable regulations, and a flourishing ecosystem of digital services.
HashKey’s recent report emphasizes Thailand’s strong interest in cryptocurrency. Based on the Chainalysis Crypto Adoption Index, Thailand holds the tenth position worldwide, indicating substantial crypto ownership and engagement in centralized exchanges, P2P trading, and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
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This enthusiasm is reinforced by Thailand’s monthly traffic to CoinMarketCap, totaling 648,000 visits and representing 0.94% of all global visits.
Furthermore, Thai users demonstrate a significant interest in digital asset trading. According to data from CoinGecko, top Thai exchanges such as Bitkub, Bitazza, and Orbix collectively amassed a trading volume of $116 billion from January to October 2023.
These exchanges boast over 2.94 million individual account holders, constituting 4.27% of the country’s population. These figures indicate a swift surge in crypto adoption, surpassing the number of traditional stock exchange account holders.
Fertile ground for crypto
The strong general interest for cryptocurrency markets globally is an important factor for Thailand’s digital asset ecosystem to flourish. Although exchanges like Bitkub and Orbix currently lead the market, newcomers like SCB are bringing innovations, which is evident in the introduction of the InnovestX investment app. Furthermore, Gulf’s partnership with Binance for digital asset licenses signals potential growth in the competitive landscape.
In other sectors of Thailand’s cryptocurrency economy, SCB and another prominent bank, Kasikornbank, have each established ICO portals, allowing customers to invest in promising Thai digital asset startups. These two banks are also entering the venture capital arena through their subsidiaries, SCB10x and KASIKORN X.
Additionally, crypto advisory firms are emerging, with Cryptomind, a notable startup in HashKey’s portfolio, securing the first license this year to provide digital asset advisory services.
Furthermore, the HashKey report accentuates the potential of the emerging Web3 economy in Thailand, featuring noteworthy projects like the blockchain gaming guild GuildFi, 3Landers, and LonelyPop.
Friendly stance of government toward crypto
The government’s rapid creation of a regulatory framework favorable to cryptocurrencies is crucial to Thailand’s vibrant crypto environment. Like progressive jurisdictions such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Thailand’s regulatory approach is outlined in the Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses, B.E. 2561. This decree obliges financial institutions to report digital asset investments and activities, emphasizing transparency and regulatory compliance.
The Thai Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) outlines and oversees various assets and activities, encompassing digital coins and tokens, ICO issuers and portals, exchange and brokerage platforms, dealers, fund managers, and advisors. Consequently, it has established seven distinct licenses for these assets and activities.
Sanjay Popli, Co-Founder and CEO of Cryptomind, shares his enthusiasm regarding legal developments in Thailand:
“I’m excited by the rapid expansion of Thailand’s Web3 sector. With over 3 million overall crypto users and 600% growth in the market in recent years, the dynamism in our DeFi and NFT sectors is 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.”
Thanaarmates Arriyavat, Senior Venture Director of KASIKORN X, agrees with Popli:
“In 2023, more enterprises entered the digital asset market in Thailand, [while the] active development of related regulations, more technology robustness, and vibrant communities point to a positive outlook for meaningful innovations in the industry that could benefit a larger population.”
Overall, the report suggests that Thailand is emerging as a promising center for significant crypto innovations, fueled by traditional institutions’ growing embrace of Web3 and blockchain technologies and supported by a well-balanced regulatory framework.