Leading Thai Forex Exchange Superrich to Add Cryptocurrencies

Francisco Memoria

The Superrich International Exchange, a leading Thai forex broker that plans to change 120 billion Thai baht (roughly $3.7 billion) this year, is reportedly planning on adding cryptocurrencies to its offerings, and is considering a cryptocurrency exchange.

According to Crypto News Review, citing the Bangkok Post, if Superrich launches a cryptocurrency exchange for foreign currencies, it’ll be the first one in Thailand. The broker is reportedly awaiting regulatory approval, although its president Piya Tantivachayanon claims it’s ready to launch.

He was quoted as saying:

We would offer digital asset exchange for travelers. The company also plans to offer an e-wallet service, and we're exploring business partners to help develop technology. There are many companies from Malaysia, Britain and Laos that have expressed interest.

The country has been seeing interest in cryptocurrencies grow, after two royal decrees published in May added a framework for trading and brokering cryptos like BTC. These also clarified how cryptocurrencies are taxed in the country.

Per CNR, the Royal Decree on Digital Asset Business also handed the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the country’s financial regulator oversight over the nascent industry

While businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies are under the SEC’s supervision, Superrich is a broker which means it’s under the central bank’s jurisdiction. The company has already revealed its plan to open a crypto exchange to the SEC.

Superrich, founded in 1965, reportedly has 49 branches throughout the world, including one in Cambodia and one in Britain. It’s said to be in talks with Laotian authorities to launch its money-changing services in the country. These services see it offer clients 32 fiat currencies and now cryptocurrencies.

While it isn’t clear which cryptocurrency Superrich is looking to offer, Thailand’s SEC legalized seven cryptos in June for initial coin offerings (ICOs), which means the broker’s offering will likely be limited to them

Cryptocurrencies in Thailand

Thailand has somewhat progressive cryptocurrency regulations. The country has greenlighted seven local companies, including five digital currency exchanges, to operate within its borders. It has also authorized local banks to launch subsidiaries, which may provide investors certain banking services. The bank’s subsidiaries have also been authorized to conduct their own crypto businesses.

As CryptoGlobe covered, the Bank of Thailand has announced earlier this year it was looking into launching a national cryptocurrency to “enhance operational efficiencies.” The cryptocurrency would be used for interbank settlements and cross-border fund transfers.

Authorities in Thailand have, as covered, been expecting a wave of cryptocurrency-related crime, over the lack of professionals with in-depth knowledge of the sector and the technology needed to tackle cybercrime.

The country has already seen high-profile cases related to cryptocurrencies, including one where actor Jiratpisit Jaravijit allegedly swindled a Finnish investor out of $24 million in BTC. The country’s central bank has noted cryptos aren’t to blame for the case.

According to CryptoCompare data, about 0.09% of bitcoin’s total trading volume was against Thailand’s fiat currency, the baht, in the last 24-hour period as over 164 BTC were traded against it.

Chinese Yuan 'Inversely Correlated' with Bitcoin, Amidst US-China Trade Wars

Since January 2018, China and the US have been involved in an intense trade war in which both countries have significantly increased tariffs on imported goods and services.

Due partly to the rising tension between the two countries, the Chinese yuan (CNY) has been losing value against the USD. During the same time period, the price of bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets has been surging.

As noted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the value of BTC, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, increased by 26.5% to $7,878 during the time period from May 5 to May 17. Notably, US President Donald Trump had announced on May 5 that he would further increase tariffs on goods imported from mainland China.

Chinese Yuan Weakens as Nation’s Government Responds to Increased Tariffs

The SCMP pointed out that the yuan dropped to its lowest level since the past six months after the Chinese government responded to Trump administration’s decision to impose higher tariffs on China.

Commenting on the price fluctuations of both the yuan and bitcoin, Garrick Hileman, a Macroeconomics Researcher at London School of Economics (LSE) and Head of Research at Blockchain.com, remarked:

We are observing a strong inverse correlation between the [Renminbi] RMB’s value and bitcoin, meaning that recent RMB declines over trade tensions have been closely matched by increases in the value of bitcoin.

“Correlation Does Not Necessarily Equal Causation”

Hileman also mentioned that we “cannot be 100% certain” that the bitcoin price has been increasing due to heightened concerns regarding trade tensions and the corresponding decline in the value of the yuan. The blockchain researcher stated:

Trade tensions and declines in the RMB’s exchange rate as correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Hileman, who earned his Phd from LSE, revealed:

This is not the first time we’ve seen significant increases in the value of bitcoin taking place alongside yuan concerns.

He added that there’s “growing recognition of bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ and it being used as a hedge against various macroeconomic risks.”

“This Year, the Narrative Is Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin”

According to the SCMP, bitcoin’s price may have surged recently due to the generally positive remarks made about it at the Consensus 2019 conference.

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, has also confirmed recently that the narrative this year has been mostly about Bitcoin. Demirors revealed that both institutions and retail investors are “feeling good” and are “more confident” about the long-term potential of Bitcoin and the evolving ecosystem that supports it.