Thailand has emerged as a crucial player in the cryptocurrency scene in Asia. This is attributed to the significant adoption rates, a notable increase in digital asset trading volume, a favorable regulatory environment, and a flourishing ecosystem of digital services in the country.
Data from CoinGecko on major digital asset exchanges in Thailand, including Bitkub, Bitazza (broker), and Satang, indicates that the cumulative trading volume from January to October 2023 amounted to $116.43 million, equivalent to approximately 4.1 trillion Thai Baht.
Thai Traders Flock to Digital Assets
According to HashKey’s latest report, throughout 2023, Bitkub emerged as the market leader, commanding a 77.04% share of the total trading volume for the year. Bitazza and Satang secured market shares of 21.60% and 1.36%, respectively. It is noteworthy that Satang underwent an acquisition by KASIKORNBANK (KBANK) in 2023 and subsequently rebranded as Orbix.
Meanwhile, Thailand ranks tenth according to Chainalysis’ Crypto Adoption Index, taking into account the nation’s collective user engagement across centralized exchanges, peer-to-peer trading, and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols as contributing factors to its overall assessment.
Digital asset exchanges in Thailand boast more than 2.94 million user accounts, constituting 4.27% of the total population and surpassing more than half the 5.5 million accounts on the stock market.
Between January and November 2023, Binance in Thailand experienced an average of 116,877 monthly visits, with the highest recorded number occurring in January 2023 at 303,057.
From September 2020 to August 2023, the Southeast Asian country registered more than 797,931 downloads of MetaMask wallets. The peak occurred in November 2021, with 88,539 downloads, likely driven by the growing popularity of GameFi and the metaverse.
Thailand’s DEX and NFT Sectors Buck Trend
In the bullish market of 2021, decentralized exchange (DEX) platforms like PancakeSwap saw an average of 35,000 monthly visits. However, these visitation numbers declined during the bear market.
The non-fungible token sector experienced a similar downtrend. Looking at the NFT boom in 2022, Opensea experienced an average of 48,000 monthly visits from Thailand, reaching a peak of 65,000 visits in July. But the traffic subsided during the bear market.
Despite this, Sanjay Popli, Co-Founder and CEO of Cryptomind, remains bullish.
“The adoption of Web3 technologies by financial institutions, banks, and conglomerates in Thailand is a significant development, signaling a broader acceptance and integration of blockchain and crypto in mainstream business. Together with a balanced regulatory framework, these developments are propelling Thailand to a forefront position in the global crypto and blockchain arena.”
Traditional financial institutions are providing substantial backing to the cryptocurrency market in Thailand, evidenced by Siam Commercial Bank’s (SCB) plans to explore opportunities in the crypto space. Earlier this year, Srettha Thavisin, a real estate developer, assumed the role of Thailand’s Prime Minister following a highly controversial election.
Before entering politics, Srettha was actively involved in the country’s digital asset sector. A central theme of Srettha’s political campaign revolved around the commitment to a nationwide ‘airdrop,’ wherein every Thai citizen would receive 10,000 Thai Baht ($300). This amount is designated for individuals aged 16 and above, with the stipulation that it can only be spent within a four-kilometer radius of their residence.