It will allow for Bitcoin buying/selling versus the local baht currency. However, it will function more as a currency exchange service than a liquidity-based online trading platform. Bitcoin buyers sign up, place a buy order and then send the indicated amount of cash through a local bank. Sellers sign up, place a sell order and then send the appropriate sum of bitcoins to the indicated address.
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Still, the presence of more than one exchange venue in the country is healthy for competition and Bitcoin adoption. The use of cryptocurrency as a means for financial mobility is much more felt in countries like Thailand and Philippines, where large segments of the population are unbanked. Coins.ph CEO Ron Hose explained:
“We recognize the lack of functional financial services in developing countries, and the growing demand for Bitcoin as a lower barrier alternative to traditional banking. We want to position ourselves as the Coinbase of Southeast Asia, with a platform that is geared specifically towards markets with low bank penetration.”
The country’s first exchange, Bitcoin.co.th, went offline last year after indications from its central bank that Bitcoin is illegal. It reopened earlier this year after the central bank confirmed that while risky, dealing in it is in fact legal.