Bitkub sets sights on DISRUPTING
Ambitious startup, already valued at Bt525m, is out to make waves in fintech
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 eight-fold 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.