When large crypto exchanges or trading companies make a move towards other regions, it can signal their belief in engaged future users who will boost both crypto adoption and the company’ own performance in these places. To that end, one Thailand-based crypto exchange has its eye on a very specific set of nations.
Not so “North by Northwest”
Thailand’s Bitkub, reported to be the country’s largest crypto exchange, is considering other nations in South East Asia to expand its activities, according to founder Topp Jirayut Srupsrisopa.
The exec told the Financial Times that Bitkub was specifically looking for a country without a “clear winner,” so that the company wouldn’t need to fight another crypto giant. For this reason, Indonesia is out of the list, as strong exchanges are already present there. However, according to Srupsrisopa, others options are Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines and Malaysia.
That said, the company with a reported value of over $1 billion is still researching its potential choices.
So, why else could the aforementioned countries matter so much to Bitkub? One major reason is that all have been growing increasingly active in the crypto sector. For example, Cambodia’s digital payment platform Bakong has been internationally recognized. Meanwhile, neighboring Laos was looking into its own CBDC. It has also authorized several companies to mine Bitcoin there on a trial basis.
Adding to that, Myanmar’s exiled government in 2021 “officially recognized for usage” Tether [USDT]. On the other hand, companies worldwide have noted Philippines users’ interest in the GameFi economy. Finally, Malaysia’s relatively low electricity cost has made it a hotbed for both licensed and unlicensed crypto mining activities.
In essence, without a large competitor to thwart its efforts, Bitkub can push the limits of its operations in developing economies and be the first to attract early adopters.
However, investors will need to watch how Bitkub narrows down its choices and produces a workable business plan.
Malaysia on the radar
Bitkub is not the only company looking at Southeast Asia to expand. Around a week ago, the Southeast Asian developer Hatten Land Limited, shared that its subsidiary Hatten Edge Pte. Ltd. had plans to construct more than 1,000 crypto mining rigs in properties in Melaka, Malaysia. This was to be achieved through a partnership with SMI CS Pte. Ltd., which has the option to build yet more crypto mining rigs.