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Thailand’s Gulf Energy to Launch Cryptocurrency Venture with Binance in 2Q

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Gulf Energy Development Plc. said it expects to finalize a joint venture with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, in the second quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Yupapin Wangviwat said venture six months likely will be needed to obtain the license for trading and then other features would follow.

Cryptocurrency trading has exploded in Thailand, Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, with transactions reaching 251 billion baht in November, prompting authorities to introduce regulations.

Yupapin noted that the Gulf-Binance crypto exchange would have to comply with regulations.

Last year, Thailand’s securities watchdog filed a criminal complaint against Binance for operating without a digital asset license.

The move into crypto comes from its owner and CEO Sarath Ratanavadi’s plans to expand into digital infrastructure, which took shape last year when it increased its ownership of InTouch Holdings Plc. to 42% in a 48-billion-baht deal.

InTouch owns the country’s largest mobile operator, Advanced Information Systems.

On Thursday, Gulf established a separate joint venture with Singapore Telecommunications and AIS to build data centers.

Yupapin said initial plans include 20-40 megawats of data centers in Thailand, with an estimated cost of up to US$400 million.