Bitkub sets sights on DIS­RUPT­ING

AM­BI­TIOUS STARTUP, AL­READY VAL­UED AT BT525M, IS OUT TO MAKE WAVES IN FIN­TECH

The Nation - - TECH / START-UUPP - ASINA PORNWASIN

A THAI STARTUP, Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing, aims to be­come the next dig­i­tal dis­rupter in the area of fi­nan­cial ser­vices, driven by blockchain tech­nol­ogy and with the goal of be­ing the leader in the blockchain ecosys­tem for South­east Asia.

Tech­nol­ogy will not only dis­rupt the bank­ing in­dus­try, says Ji­rayut Srup­srisopa, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing, but go on to dis­rupt the stock ex­change as a whole. And blockchain will be the key dis­rup­tive tech­nol­ogy.

He says that fi­nan­cial ser­vices are the world’s largest off­line mar­ket, with no one yet dom­i­nat­ing the mar­ket. The United States’ fi­nan­cial ser­vices alone are about US$3 tril­lion (Bt99 tril­lion), most of it now off­line. That of­fers a huge gap for fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy (fin­tech) to fill. It is the sin­gle big op­por­tu­nity in the sec­tor, says Ji­rayut.

A lot of ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists are back­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vice uni­corns. The global VC in­vest­ment in fi­nan­cial tech­nol­ogy has seen an eight­fold in­crease in fund­ing ac­tiv­ity be­tween 2009 to 2014. And in­vest­ment con­tin­ues to in­crease.

So­cial bank­ing is an­other im­mi­nent trend, in­clud­ing neo­phyte Face­book Pay along with WeChat Pay, which is among the lead­ers in the Chi­nese mar­ket.

On the last Chi­nese new year’s eve alone, the elec­tronic money re­wards sent through WeChat app were worth about $8 tril­lion.

Blockchain tech­nol­ogy is the next big thing in the ef­fort to catch the huge po­ten­tial mar­ket. Blockchain is the sec­ond layer of the In­ter­net (the first layer is TCP/IP) to en­able in­stant value trans­fers. Blockchain is a fun­da­men­tal tech­nol­ogy in the ef­fort to cre­ate an In­ter­net of value, in which peo­ple use the tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate and trans­fer the value of things in the same way they do with in­for­ma­tion.

He said the largest por­tion of the fi­nan­cial in­dus­try has un­til now been off­line, pre­sent­ing a huge op­por­tu­nity for fin­tech com­pa­nies such as Bitkub to cap­ture a share.

The com­pany’s tar­get is to po­si­tion it­self as the fu­ture leader of the blockchain ecosys­tem in South­east Asia.

Founded in Fe­bru­ary with reg­is­tered cap­i­tal of Bt50 mil­lion, Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing con­sists of four main busi­ness units – the dig­i­tal as­set ex­change plat­form, con­sult­ing and de­vel­op­ment of blockchain tech­nol­ogy for en­ter­prises (both gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor), ed­u­ca­tion in blockchain tech­nol­ogy and dig­i­tal as­sets, and al­go­rith­mic trad­ing.

Those units are op­er­ated by dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies, with Bitkub On­line tak­ing care of the dig­i­tal as­set ex­change plat­form, Bitkub Blockchain pro­vid­ing ICO ad­vi­sory ser­vices, Bitkub Blockchain Academy hold­ing ed­u­ca­tion work­shops in blockchain and Bitkub Cap­i­tal act­ing as a ven­ture cap­i­tal firm tak­ing care of in­vest­ments.

“We want to be a dis­rupter in fi­nan­cial ser­vices to help digi­tise value,” said Ji­rayut. “With blockchain we be­lieve that the fi­nan­cial in­stru­ment will be 100-times big­ger than the present. Now, we trade only a few as­sets but in the fu­ture we can trade ev­ery­thing – both tan­gi­ble as­sets and in­tan­gi­ble as­set such as di­a­mond and rep­u­ta­tion – thanks to blockchain.”

Bitkub On­line aims to be leader in dig­i­tal as­set ex­change as mea­sured by hav­ing the most qual­ity coin trad­ing and the largest trade vol­umes. Bitkub On­line’s www.bitkub.com, op­er­ated since May 2018, now boasts trade vol­umes of Bt50 mil­lion per day with to­tal trad­ing ses­sions of al­most 400,000 ses­sions.

It has trad­ing mem­bers with 20,000 ac­counts, all of them in­di­vid­ual traders. The com­pany aims to in­crease trade vol­ume to Bt500 mil­lion per day. To achieve that goal, it plans to in­crease the num­ber of trad­ing coins from the cur­rent six coins, to more than 20 coins by the end of 2018.

“We just started since May this year, and we now are num­ber two in dig­i­tal as­set ex­change with trade vol­umes of Bt50 mil­lion per day, fol­low­ing the leader which has 28 trad­ing coins and a trade vol­ume of around Bt100 mil­lion per day. We plan to in­crease both trad­ing coins and trad­ing vol­ume,” said Ji­rayut.

More­over, the com­pany plans to ini­ti­ate its own coin, called Bitkub To­ken or KUB coin, which is set to be a trade min­ing to­ken for traders. Also, by the end of 2018, it will launch to­ken API and a mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mean­while, Bitkub Blockchain tech­nol­ogy is set to help busi­nesses to digi­tise their as­sets through blockchain tech­nol­ogy. It pro­vides con­sult­ing and de­vel­op­ment of blockchain tech­nol­ogy for en­ter­prise for both gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tors. It of­fers ICO ad­vi­sory ser­vices in fi­nan­cial, le­gal and com­pli­ance, tech­nol­ogy, as well as sales and mar­ket­ing.

It of­fers four ser­vice pil­lars in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sories such as full crypto-eco­nomic busi­ness model de­vel­op­ment and to­ken dis­tri­bu­tion and struc­ture; le­gal ad­vi­sories such as risk as­sess­ment of ICO cam­paigns, KYC and AML pro­cess­ing to meet all gov­ern­ment stan­dards; tech­nol­ogy ser­vices such as smart con­tract blockchain pro­to­cols and blockchain as a ser­vice spe­cial­i­sa­tion; and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns such as pub­lic re­la­tions plans cus­tomised to reach spe­cific in­vestors and an SEC-ap­proved mar­ket­ing cam­paign.

Blockchain re­quires a lot of ed­u­ca­tion, and so Bitkub Blockchain Academy has been set up to pro­vide ed­u­ca­tion in blockchain tech­nol­ogy and dig­i­tal as­sets as well as to of­fer co-work­ing space for the blockchain and dig­i­tal as­set com­mu­nity. It also of­fers in­ter­nal and pub­lic trad­ing and work­shops.

“Our goal is to cre­ate a com­mu­nity hub to nur­ture the Thai blockchain scene,” says Ji­rayut. “Thai Blockchain Hub serves as an ed­u­ca­tional work­shops about blockchain.”

Last but not least, Bitkub Cap­i­tal, the cap­i­tal ven­ture arm of Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing, will use al­go­rith­mic trad­ing to in­vest in dig­i­tal as­sets and in blockchain/dig­i­tal as­set start-ups. The first in­vest­ments will be­gin in mid-2019.

“It is our ven­ture cap­i­tal firm and will of­fer hedge funds, start-up in­cu­ba­tion and men­tor­ships, as well as fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sory and cap­i­tal so­lu­tions,” said Ji­rayut.

Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing was es­tab­lished in Fe­bru­ary 2018 with the in­cor­po­ra­tion of Blockchain Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing, and with the first round of seed fund­ing. Then in March, it launched a crypto ex­change fol­lowed by the launch of ICO ad­vi­sory and con­sult­ing ser­vices.

In May, it se­cured the sec­ond round of seed fund­ing and con­sumers be­gan trad­ing Bit­coin and Ethereum on Bitkub On­line. It then added coins – Wan­coin for trad­ing fol­lowed by more listed coins in­clud­ing Car­dano and OmiseGo. It also launched Bitkub Blockchain Academy and hosted the first cryp­tocur­rency meetup.

Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing has en­joyed phe­nom­e­nal growth since be­ing founded in early 2018, now boast­ing a Bt525 mil­lion com­pany eval­u­a­tion, and with ma­jor in­vestors such as dtac Ac­cel­er­ate and SEAs.

Ji­rayut Srup­srisopa, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing, says that tech­nol­ogy is not only dis­rupt­ing the bank­ing in­dus­try, but will also sweep across the op­er­a­tions of the stock ex­change.

Bitkub Cap­i­tal Group Hold­ing’s busi­ness units.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.