Peeradej 'Pete' Tanruangporn, founder and CEO of Upbit
Peeradej 'Pete' Tanruangporn (second from right to left), founder and CEO of Upbit, along with other team members of the South Korean exchange. Infokomputer

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit was able to obtain four provisional licenses from Thailand’s SEC, that allow it to operate in the country, the firm said in a notice on its website on 12 August.

According to the announcement, the four new licenses provided by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission will enable the exchange to legally offer its digital asset services in the Southeast Asian country. Claiming to be the first digital asset business to acquire all four licenses from the Thai SEC, Upbit can now operate in the country as a cryptocurrency exchange, digital token exchange, cryptocurrency broker, and digital token broker.

The CEO of Upbit Thailand, Peeradej Tanruangporn, said in a statement:


“These four licenses make Upbit Thailand the top operator in the country in terms of number of licenses. They allow us to offer all combinations of digital asset pairs legally possible and enable us to work with global partners in innovative ways.”

He further explained that in Thailand, the licenses for exchange and brokerage businesses are separate, and allow a different set of services to be provided. While an exchange license allows a business to do order matching, a brokerage license enables the operator to match the customer’s order to a different exchange offering.

Although the SEC’s final audit of the exchange is still pending, Upbit is already working on providing its Thai customers with “innovative digital asset-related services”. With its licenses to operate the trade and exchange of both cryptocurrencies and tokens, Upbit is now eligible to offer all possible combinations of fiat-crypto and crypto-crypto pairs. While the exchange is yet to announce the token pairs that will be available at launch, it did say that “fiat to crypto will definitely be available from the very beginning”.

Thailand seems to be expanding its cryptocurrency reach in the past several months. Back in April, the oldest bank in the country, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), launched a mobile app for instant cross-border payments in cooperation with Ripple. In July, it also became known that the country’s central bank had already conducted financial transactions with a number of businesses using its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and was now looking to expand its use to even more businesses in the country.