Bitkub, Thailand’s largest exchange, says it is inching towards going public and has its sights on Hong Kong as a potential listing destination.
The digital asset exchange says it could go public sometime in 2024 after the passing of the chaos plaguing the virtual currency industry. The industry has been plagued by the collapse of large projects like Terra and FTX, and the cascading contagion effect might make the listing procedure arduous.
Bitkub CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa told reporters that his exchange is considering Hong Kong over other jurisdictions like New York to go public. He noted that part of the allure of Hong Kong is the presence of a crystal clear regulatory process and a highly liquid stock exchange.
Srupsrisopa added that since the bulk of BitKub’s customers is based in Southeast Asia, it may influence the firm’s decision to choose Hong Kong as its listing destination. Aside from the geographical reasons, BikKub’s CEO notes that Hong Kong should “have freer and more open regulations and be more receptive to embracing new technologies.”
“I think our strength is in the Southeast ASEAN region,” he disclosed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. “So it’s better to be connected to the market closer to home.”
Srupsrisopa clarified that going public is not at the top of the pyramid for Bitkub. Rather, it is more concerned about improving its efficiency. The exchange was founded in 2018, and in less than four years of operation, the firm has garnered over 50 million users while attaining the coveted spot of being a unicorn, valued at over $1 billion.
Bitkub obtained its license from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission and controls a 90% market share in Thailand’s virtual assets industry.
Not a stranger to chaos
While the market is still reeling under the collapse of FTX and dealing with the spillover effect, Bitkub is no stranger to difficult conditions like this. The exchange has previously come under the crosshairs of Thailand’s regulators for allegedly participating in wash trading to create artificial volumes.
The trouble with regulators led to a potential acquisition deal by SCBX, a Thai banking giant falling through. SCBX wanted to buy a controlling stake in exchange for $500 million in a valiant effort to wade into digital assets.
“Bitkub is currently in the process of resolving various issues as per the recommendations and orders of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, which are uncertain in terms of a time frame in resolving those issues,” SCBX said.