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Major Thai bank experimenting with decentralized finance

  • Posted On - 2021-04-13 07:05:33

KBank or Kasikornbank, one of Thailand’s biggest banks, has started experimenting with DeFi services as part of its business enlargement setup.

According to the report by Bangkok Post, the bank’s decentralized finance exploration is being spearheaded by KBank’s tech subsidiary, Kasikorn Business Technology Group.

Speaking on KBank’s DeFi plans, KBTG chairman Ruangroj Poonpol said:

“DeFi is a key exploration for KBank Group this year […] The project is being explored through KBTG under the second phase of the company’s digital transformation program.”

As per the Ruangroj, DeFi might hold the key to improving financial inclusion for folks in Thailand via access to innovative financial services, adding: “With this asset-backed form, DeFi could also create economic value for Thailand.”

Asset-backed DeFi comes with restricted hurdles, given its interaction with real-world assets. Indeed, industry participants, like MakerDAO’s Rune Christensen, have already started clamoring for engagement between DeFi stakeholders and regulators if decentralized finance is to continue its transition to the mainstream arena.

With DeFi adoption within the cards, Kasikornbank is trying to enlarge its presence in Southeast Asia, especially in countries like Vietnam where about two-thirds of the population remains unbanked.

KBank’s DeFi foray is coming on the heels of the bank’s dominance within the country’s digital banking arena. The 2nd largest Thai lender by assets reportedly accounts for forty percent of the nation’s digital banking transactions as is the largest mobile banking platform in Thailand with over sixteen million users on its app.

Aside from its planned DeFi experimentation, KBank also has a history of crypto and blockchain acquiring in Thailand. Back in Sep 2018, the bank joined Visa’s blockchain-based B2B solution for cross-border payment transactions.

KBank, via its KBTG subsidiary, also handles a digital trading platform in cooperation with the Stock market of Thailand.