Thailand’s KBank to Explore Decentralized Finance (DeFi) to Expand Its Digital Reach
Kasikornbank, one of the biggest financial institutions in Thailand, has identified decentralized finance (DeFi) as key to its growth and expansion strategies.
Kasikornbank, commonly known as KBank, has kickstarted exploring asset-backed DeFi utilizing blockchain as it seeks to expand and grow regionally.
As reported by Bangkok Post, the decentralized finance experiment is led by Kasikorn Business Technology Group, or KBTG, an offshoot of KBank tasked with technology matters.
Ruangroj Poonpol, KBTG chair, explained that DeFi exploration is crucial to KBank’s short and long-term success. He 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 programme.”
Poonpol also explained that DeFi is crucial and could help the country tackle the financial exclusion problems that have persisted for years. He explained that DeFi would allow Thais to access improved financial services. He also explained that asset-backed DeFi would play a crucial role in creating economic value for the country.
Asset-backed DeFi faces various regulatory difficulties as it interacts with the ideal world assets. In the past, some industry players, like MakerDAO’s Christensen, are already in the process of engaging DeFi stakeholders as well as regulators in efforts to see decentralized finance make an impact in the mainstream financial world.
The DeFi exploration by KBank is poised to allow the bank to enhance its expansion strategy in Southeast Asia, especially in countries where there are many unbanked people like Vietnam, where only a third of its population is banked.
KBank’s DeFi exploration comes in the backdrop of the bank’s remarkable performance in Thai’s digital banking sector. The bank controls about 40 percent of all digital transactions in Thailand. The bank also boasts of the country's biggest mobile banking platform, with more than 16 million people using its mobile banking app.
Recently, the bank, through its offshoot KBTG, unveiled Kubix in collaboration with the Thai stock exchange. The platform will help in the operationalization of initial coin offerings (IPO) for blockchain-based platforms. In 2018, KBank became a member of Visa’s B2B solution, a blockchain-based international payment platform.