Thai Crypto-Bourse Deal Stuck in Due Diligence, Co-Founder Says

A deal to sell a majority stake in Thailand’s largest crypto exchange to the nation’s oldest bank remains stuck in due diligence more than eight months after the plan was unveiled, according to the platform’s co-founder, Bloomberg News reported. The proposal with SCB X Pcl that helped propel Bitkub Online Co. into a so-called unicorn has yet to be wrapped up, according to Jirayut Srupsrisopa, chief executive officer of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings. “I can’t mention about the deal publicly yet because it’s under the due-diligence process,” Jirayut said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday. “But everything is still in the same timeline. That’s all I can mention about the deal.” Bangkok-listed SCB X, the parent of Siam Commercial Bank Pcl, agreed to acquire 51% in Bitkub Online for 17.9 billion baht ($490 million) in November. The lender, which has signaled ambitions of becoming a regional provider of fintech services, has also cited due diligence as a reason for the delay. The global crypto ecosystem has struggled with the meltdowns of several digital tokens, several bankruptcy filings and debt restructurings -- all of which have prompted heightened scrutiny from regulators. The Thailand unit of crypto exchange Zipmex recently halted customer withdrawals and filed for moratorium from creditors. Bitkub has also been subject to greater regulatory oversight, with Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission slapping a 24 million baht fine on the company and two officials for violating trading rules. Jirayut said the fine hasn’t affected the company. Read more.