Despite the crypto winter, Thai energy billionaire turns to crypto to boost revenue


  • Sarath Ratanavadi says crypto platforms are essential elements of growth.
  • Ratanavadi adds that his company plans to build more power-generating equipment that uses renewables.

The crypto industry has been under intense scrutiny in the last few months. The increased scrutiny might explain why the number of active crypto trading accounts in Thailand has declined. Recent Bloomberg data showed that there are only 260,000 active trading accounts in Thailand as of July 2022.

It is a significant drop, given that the number was 692,000 as of January 2022. This drop reflects the general downturn in the crypto market, with BTC trading at 69 percent off its November 2021 all-time high, according to Coingecko data. Yet, these events and statistics haven’t discouraged Sarath Ratanavadi from increasing his efforts regarding plans to use crypto to boost his energy business.

Ratanavadi, Thailand’s second-richest man and CEO of Gulf Energy development, made most of his wealth from the energy industry, specifically power generation. The Gulf Energy CEO added that his company would increase its investments in blockchain technology to expand its earning options. The move is surprising to many, given that Thai regulators are increasing their oversight functions over crypto-related firms as crypto tokens decline in value.

According to Ratanavadi, the Bangkok-based firm has applied for an operating license to run a crypto exchange and brokerage platform under the guidance of Binance holdings ltd, the parent company of Binance exchange. Binance exchange is the biggest crypto exchange globally based on trading volume. The Bloomberg billionaires index shows that Ratanavadi is worth $11.9 billion, and his wealth is equal to that of Jerry Jones, a famous oil tycoon, and owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

During an interview aired on august 24, 2022, Ratanavadi said blockchain technology, including cryptocurrencies, will be a crucial factor in his firm’s profits. He added that Gulf energy wants to be the market leader in Thailand. When asked about the recent issues plaguing the crypto market, he explained that the issues are individual cases and the broader crypto market is still strong and has huge potential.

Read More: Thailand bans crypto payments

According to Bloomberg, the Ratanavadi interview had been conducted before Thai lending firm, SCBX, announced that it had abandoned its planned acquisition of Bitkub, a local crypto exchange platform.

Other businesses are exploring crypto for revenue diversification

Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy won’t be the first company to turn to crypto for an increase in revenue. In the last couple of years, other businesses have done the same. MicroStrategy (a business software maker) owns billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC). Tesla (a famous electric car maker), Block (a technology group), and Meitu (a popular photo app in China) have also invested in crypto to diversify their earnings sources.

However, it is worth noting that the value of the cryptocurrency holdings of these firms has reduced massively in the face of the current crypto downturn. MicroStrategy and Meitu reported about $1 billion and $52 million in unrealized losses from their crypto holdings. Earlier this year, Tesla sold more than $930 million worth of BTC, citing doubts regarding COVID lockdowns in China.





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Sarath Ratanavadi says crypto platforms are essential elements of growth. Ratanavadi adds that his company plans to build more power-generating equipment that uses renewables. The crypto industry has been under intense scrutiny in the last few months. The increased scrutiny might explain why the number of active crypto trading accounts in Thailand has declined. Recent…