Interviewed By Emmanuel Daniel
Jirayut 'Topp' Srupsrisopa, founder and group CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, discussed the company’s commitment to compliance after a series of missteps, and the impact of the 2022 crypto winter
Topp Srupsrisopa shared how the company is working closely with regulators to ensure the integrity of its operations, even as it outperforms its peers with a market share of more than 95%.
Despite its strong position in the Thai market, Bitkub is still reeling from a bumpy 2022, a crypto winter that eroded investor confidence. It saw a failed acquisition by Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) that would have made it Thailand’s first unicorn, and faced fines imposed by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for various infractions.
Moving forward, Srupsrisopa said the company has been changing the way it operates to prioritise sustainability over growth. He said: “We want to work closely with regulators and make sure we earn the trust. Right now, as we speak, there’s zero issues left. Bitkub is the cleanest, most regulated [exchange in Thailand].”
Amid these challenges, the company takes pride in remaining profitable amid the collapse of several exchanges worldwide. Srupsrisopa acknowledged though that the crypto crash of 2022 resulted in slower growth in user base, trading volume and liquidity. Rebuilding trust in the market will also take time as crypto exchanges are placed under tighter regulations.
Unlike smaller exchanges, Bitkub is self-sufficient and not reliant on larger platforms for infrastructure or liquidity. Srupsrisopa said they maintain strict customer fund segregation and send daily reports to the SEC. He said: “We are trying our best to makes sure the infrastructure is strong and reliable and transparent.”
Despite the failed acquisition by SCB last year, Bitkub maintains strong relationships with Thai retail banks, allowing seamless cash transfers between the exchange and bank accounts. In the future, Bitkub sees greater collaboration between traditional and digital finance to deliver innovative solutions to customers.
As a market leader with a ready ecosystem, Bitkub also aims to be at the forefront of issuing a Thai stablecoin but this would be pursued according to regulations to be issued.
Srupsrisopa also discussed the potential of democratising investment opportunities in Thailand though tokenisation of real estate and launching a carbon credit marketplace. At present, there are three token classes in Thailand: cryptocurrencies, investment tokens (backed by real assets), and utility tokens.
To make exchanges more accessible, blockchain technology must be “humanised” for mass adoption, said Srupsrisopa. He compared it to the evolution of Skype, which simplified the usage of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), making it accessible to common users without overwhelming technical complexities.
He said: “We need to reach this mass adoption, not just a small group of adopters. We need a platform player to humanise the technology so that people are using blockchain without knowing they are using blockchain.”
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