Kasikornbank, or KBank, one of Thailand’s largest banks, has begun trying out DeFi services as part of its business expansion plan.
According to the Bangkok Post, the bank’s DeFi research is led by Kasikorn Business Technology Group Kbank, or KBTG.
Commenting on KBank’s plans for DeFi, KBTG President Ruangroi Punpole said:
“DeFi is KBank Group’s main field this year […] The project is being studied by KBTG as part of the second phase of the company’s digital transformation program.”
According to Punpole, DeFi could be the key to improving the economic inclusion of the Thai people through access to innovative financial services, adding: “Through this asset-backed model, DeFi can also create economic value for Thailand.”
Property-backed DeFi faces regulatory hurdles due to the interaction with real assets. In fact, industry players such as MakerDAO’s Ron Christensen are already beginning to demand interaction between DeFi stakeholders and regulators if decentralized financing continues to become commonplace.
With the transition to DeFi cards, KBank wants to expand its presence in Southeast Asia, especially in countries such as Vietnam, where about two thirds of the population is left without bank accounts.
KBank’s move by DeFi followed the bank’s dominance in the national digital banking arena. It is believed that Thailand’s second largest lender of assets accounts for 40% of digital banking in the country, and is also the largest mobile banking platform in Thailand with over 16 million users on the app.
In addition to the planned DeFi test, KBank also has experience in implementing cryptography and blockchain in Thailand. In September 2018, the bank joined Visa’s blockchain-based B2B solution for cross-border payment transactions.
KBTG, through its subsidiary KBTG, also operates a digital trading platform in connection with the Thailand Stock Exchange.