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.
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.
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.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.