How Thai Crypto Unicorn Bitkub Plans to Become the Coinbase of Asia

Bitkub Capital Group Holdings was founded in 2018 and reached unicorn status. Now the crypto exchange intends to expand over Malaysia, the Philippines, and Laos, aiming to become “the Coinbase of Southeast Asia”, said the chief executive officer Jirayut Srupsrisopa.

Bloomberg reports that the Bangkok-based cryptocurrency exchange plans to grow rapidly in 2022. It is looking for partnerships with Southeast Asia, and setting up its own units. This strategy is geared towards monopolizing countries without larger players. It opens up the door to dominating the field.

Our strategy is to expand in countries that have no clear winners yet and are under-banked, with high social media usage and the potential to use cryptocurrency for remittances, … The expansion will be achieved either through new ventures or acquisitions. It is our goal to create the Coinbase in Southeast Asia.

Coinbase Global Inc., an American crypto asset marketplace, offers a platform to create crypto-based apps and other services. It says on the Coinbase website that they roughly have “73 million verified users, 10,000 institutions, and 185,000 ecosystem partners in over 100 countries trust Coinbase to easily and securely invest, spend, save, earn, and use crypto.”

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Crypto Unicorn climbs up

Last month, Bitkub saw a 24-hour turnover after Siam Commercial Bank Plc bought a 51% stake of the startup for 17.85 billion baht (over $528,8 million), which valued Thailand’s largest crypto exchange at 35 billion baht ($1 billion).

Bitkub now ranks at the 79th place in the 300 worldwide exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap. The purchase of Bitkub’s digital currency almost doubled its value.

Jirayut Srupsrisopa claimed back then that “Bitkub is no longer just a startup and is now becoming a necessary part of the infrastructure critical for Thailand’s financial industry.” Now, he plans to climb on top of that thought.

Similar Reading| The Mastercard is bringing the Bitcoin payment card to Asia Pacific.

Although Southeast Asia’s unamicable policies on crypto-assets might represent an obstacle for crypto startups to reach such ambitious goals, Jirayut expects a brighter future in which policymakers and regulators recognize the general embracing of crypto and finally back them, “they can’t avoid it forever” he said.

We have kept on going despite calls from the anti-money laundering agency and the central bank, … Regulations have always followed innovation. These regulations would have made it impossible for most people to give up. We’re crazy enough to keep going.

Bitkub was also one of the three Asian platforms that partnered with Mastercard in order to provide crypto credit and debit cards, as well as prepaid cards, to users and businesses located in Asia Pacific. This partnership allows users to convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into fiat money to make purchases, giving them the “choice and flexibility in how they pay”, said Mastercard’s executive vice president Rama Sridhar.

Jirayut also shared Bitkub’s expectation for a 1,350% growth in revenue in 2021, reaching around 5 billion baht ($148 million).

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