Thai money changer Superrich to add cryptocurrencies, open crypto-exchange

Popular Thai forex broker Superrich is planning to open the country’s first cryptocurrency exchange, local media report.

Superrich, which was founded in 1965, is one of Thailand’s largest foreign currency brokers. It has 49 locations worldwide including outlets in Cambodia and London, and internal reports show the company plans to change 120 billion Thai baht ($3.7bn USD) this year.

Interest in cryptocurrencies in the south east Asian country has skyrocketed since two royal decrees published in May sought to institute a framework for trading and brokering in Bitcoin, as well as offering clarity on how it would be taxed under local law.

The Royal Decree on Digital Asset Business also handed oversight of cryptocurrencies to the country’s financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Digital asset businesses now require a licence to operate from the Thai Ministry of Finance. Superrich has already been in discussions with the SEC about plans to open a crypto-exchange, company president Piya Tantivachayanon confirmed to The Bangkok Post.

He said: “We would offer digital asset exchange for travellers. The company also plans to offer an e-wallet service, and we’re exploring business partners to help develop technology.”

Tantivachayanon added that companies from Britain, Malaysia and Laos had expressed interest in partnering with Superrich.

The Bank of Thailand announced in June it was investigating the possibility of launching a national cryptocurrency under the working title of Project Inthanon.

This would be focused on interbank settlements and cross-border transfer of funds, rather than a consumer-facing currency. Central bank governor Veerathai Santiprabhob announced at a financial summit: “These efforts should pave the way for faster and cheaper transaction and validation due to less intermediation process needed compared to the current systems.”

50 companies reportedly showed interest in launching ICOs in Thailand after the country’s effort to partially regulate cryptocurrencies, while an additional 20 firms expressed interest in launching their own crypto-exchanges.