Thai Energy Billionaire Turns to Crypto to Boost Growth: Report

While crypto market cap has tumbled from November's high, the market is “still sound” and has “high potential” for growth, Gulf Energy CEO Sarath Ratanavadi said.

AccessTimeIconAug 26, 2022 at 8:48 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:48 p.m. UTC

Thailand’s second-richest person plans to increase his crypto-related investments in the coming months despite scrutiny from the local government and falling participation from retail traders on local exchanges, Bloomberg reported.

Sarath Ratanavadi, CEO of power company Gulf Energy Development, told Bloomberg in a Wednesday interview that his company plans to invest more in the crypto industry to create additional sources for earnings. Blockchain technology platforms and cryptocurrencies will be “key drivers for the company’s strongest returns” as the overall market remains sound and has “high potential” for growth, he said.

  • Bitcoin Ecosystem Developments in 2023 as BTC Hits Fresh 2023 High
    08:42
    Bitcoin Ecosystem Developments in 2023 as BTC Hits Fresh 2023 High
  • Bitcoin's Price Rallied 28% in October as Crypto Rally Widened
    13:53
    Bitcoin's Price Rallied 28% in October as Crypto Rally Widened
  • Key Driver Behind Bitcoin's Price Spike; California's Crypto Licensing Bill Signed Into Law
    02:09
    Key Driver Behind Bitcoin's Price Spike; California's Crypto Licensing Bill Signed Into Law
  • Robinhood Crypto General Manager Focused on 'Removing the Barrier to the Crypto Space'
    08:50
    Robinhood Crypto General Manager Focused on 'Removing the Barrier to the Crypto Space'
  • Ratanavadi will be following a path blazed by businesses elsewhere in the world that have, in the past few years, increasingly turned to crypto to bolster revenues. Firms taking the plunge include business software maker MicroStrategy – which has invested billions of dollars in bitcoin – electric-car maker Tesla, technology conglomerate Block and Chinese photo application firm Meitu.

    Still, those bets have largely soured amid a market-wide decline: MicroStategy (MSTR) reported nearly $1 billion in losses on its holdings, Meitu lost over $52 million, and Tesla (TSLA) sold over $930 million in bitcoin earlier this year citing “uncertainty of the COVID-19 lockdowns in China."

    The decision comes as Thailand’s retail trader market is dwindling. Data from the country's Securities and Exchange Commission cited by Bloomberg showed the number of active trading accounts fell to 260,000 in July from 692,000 in January, coinciding with a fall in crypto prices. Bitcoin (BTC) is now 69% lower than its record high, with ether (ETH) and other major cryptocurrencies such as solana (SOL) registering declines of as much as 86%, CoinGecko data shows.

    Ratanavadi remains unfazed, however. He said his company plans to open a crypto exchange in Thailand in partnership with crypto exchange Binance and is actively seeking licenses.

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Shaurya Malwa

    Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.