Thai Energy Firm Gulf Concludes Investments in Binance.US and BNB

Key Insights:

  • Gulf Energy Development and Binance have entered a joint venture in Thailand.
  • Gulf has invested in Binance’s US affiliate and its signature crypto – BNB.
  • The company will apply for a digital asset exchange license in Thailand.

Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s firm Gulf Energy Development PCL has finalized an investment in the US arm of the Binance crypto exchange and its signature cryptocurrency – BNB.

The move comes after both the firms entered a partnership in January to launch a digital asset exchange in Thailand. Binance described the collaboration as the “first step” in exploring opportunities in Thailand. Although, a criminal complaint on the exchange from the Thailand regulator for operating without a license still remains.

Investment To Deepen Crypto Market Involvement

Per a regulatory filing with the Thailand Stock Exchange on Monday, Gulf revealed investment in Series Seed Preferred Stock issued by BAM Trading Services, which operates Binance.US.

“As such, the investment in Binance.US not only provides an opportunity for the Company to participate in one of the fastest user scale-up exchanges in the world but also realizes potential higher investment value post Binance.US’ IPO.”

Binance is targeting an initial public offering (IPO) in two to three years, according to its CEO Brian Shroder. Binance’s US arm will utilize the funds to expand headcount and its product portfolio, launch ROI-based marketing efforts and make future acquisitions before its planned IPO, the filing noted.

Additionally, Gulf invested an undisclosed sum in Binance Coin (BNB), the native cryptocurrency that powers the BNB Chain ecosystem. 

In another regulatory record, the company announced a joint venture agreement with Binance to establish a crypto exchange unit in Thailand. 

“Following the establishment of the joint venture, it will apply for a digital asset exchange license and other licenses with relevant agencies.”

Binance said last week that it received primary approval for operations from Abu Dhabi Global Market. The approval will allow Binance to operate as a virtual assets broker-dealer and marks the third aggressive expansion in the Middle East after obtaining licenses from Bahrain and Dubai.

Gulf noted that the joint venture would create more opportunities for it to explore the digital asset market and open the scope of its investments.

Thailand Crypto Tax

Meanwhile, Thailand banned crypto payments last month, pointing out price volatility, lack of customer safeguards, money laundering, and cyber theft risks as significant reasons for the decision.

The financial regulator noted that crypto businesses will “not be permitted to promote or advertise crypto payments.”

The country initially imposed a 15% tax on crypto assets and later withdrew its plans following public outcry. However, this seems to be much lesser when compared to India’s 30% tax rule.