Binance partners with Sarath Ratanavadi to launch Thai crypto exchange

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance and Gulf Energy Development Pcl’s joint venture, Gulf Binance Co., have received approval from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission to launch operations. The joint venture plans to introduce a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand, with an initial invitation-only phase followed by a public rollout in early 2024.

The venture, led by Binance’s collaboration with Gulf Energy, aims to leverage the latter’s established local presence and network to introduce crypto trading and other digital asset products to Thai users.

Gulf Energy Development, one of Thailand’s major natural gas distribution companies founded by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi, is actively involved in various business verticals, including renewable power generation, infrastructure development projects, and digital infrastructure businesses. The company had previously invested in Binance’s United States-based arm, Binance.US.

Gulf Binance received digital asset operator licenses from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance on May 26, enabling it to operate a regulated crypto exchange under the oversight of the country’s SEC. Binance’s regional head of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa, Richard Teng, said the joint venture is “commitmed to demonstrating the potential of blockchain technology to the local user base.”

While the platform has initially launched as an invitation-only exchange, a public rollout is anticipated in early 2024. The collaboration aims to strengthen Binance’s presence in the Thai cryptocurrency market and contribute to the broader adoption of digital assets in the region.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has recently played a role in dismantling a multi-million-dollar crypto scam in Thailand. The criminal network operated a complex scheme targeting inexperienced traders through fake investment platforms. The collaboration between the US government, Thai police, and Binance resulted in the takedown of this fraudulent operation.

Based on the information provided by Binance and HSI, the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) apprehended five key members of the criminal organization and seized assets estimated at around THB 10 billion ($277 million). Since then, more than 3,200 victims have come forward seeking compensation for their losses.

Additionally, Binance played a crucial role in another operation that targeted a large-scale cryptocurrency scam operated by transnational criminal networks. The join effort resulted in the arrest of suspects across 30 locations in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Udon Thani provinces, with the participation of over 200 officers from the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Binance not only provided crucial intelligence to the police but also dispatched an investigator to Thailand to assist in obtaining arrest warrants. This mission led to the seizure of illicit assets, including 16 luxury residences, 12 high-end vehicles, and THB 16 million ($440,000) in cash.

Thailand warned last month that it could ban Facebook if the social network doesn’t get its act together regarding alleged investment and cryptocurrency scam ads popping up on its platform.

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