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Thai crypto exchange eyes Hong Kong expansion over NYC post-FTX saga: report

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Bitkub, one of the largest crypto exchanges in Thailand, is aiming to list in Hong Kong as early as 2024 when it goes public, said chief executive officer (CEO) Jirayut Srupsrisopa in an interview with the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

See related article: How Hong Kong and Singapore can make Asia the center of crypto’s future

Fast facts

  • Srupsrisopa, the founder and CEO of Bitkub Capital Group, names geographical location, sound rule of law and high liquidity in stock markets as reasons for choosing Hong Kong as Bitkub’s next destination over New York.
  • The Bitkub CEO told SCMP that Hong Kong has the upper hand in having higher liquidity when compared to Singapore, which recently reiterated its aim to build the city-state into a crypto hub.
  • Srupsrisopa predicted that Southeast Asian firms will continue to prefer Hong Kong while Western companies will likely favor New York, considering the widening divide between the world’s two largest powers — the U.S. and China. 
  • “[Hong Kong] should have freer and more open regulations and be more receptive to embracing new technologies,” Srupsrisopa told SCMP. The Bitkub CEO added that compared to Hong Kong, Thailand is more advanced in the process of recognizing digital assets as hard money. 
  • Despite the recent collapse of FTX and the aftermath, Srupsrisopa remains hopeful on the future of digital assets: “A few centralized companies mishandling customers’ funds or having very bad governance doesn’t mean that cryptocurrency is bad, right?,” he told SCMP. “Cryptocurrency is actually a much better product. And customers will always choose what is best for them.”
  • Founded in 2018, Bitkub is licensed under the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, and says it dominates nearly 90 percent of all crypto transactions in the country. Srupsrisopa told SCMP that going public is not the priority and instead the company will focus on increasing efficiency.
  • Hong Kong laid strict regulatory standards on crypto starting 2019, introducing an opt-in licensing for virtual asset service providers and following up by restricting retail investors from trading crypto. However, Hong Kong recently announced new policies to drive crypto and blockchain adoption with an innovative open-mindedness.

See related article: Hong Kong announces policies to win back role as digital asset hub

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