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Binance is partnering with Gulf Energy Development to launch a crypto exchange in Thailand early next year. 

The formal approval from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission to commence operations came on November 10, according to a filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand. 

Gulf Energy, which owns 51% of Gulf Binance Co., is owned by Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi, the country’s second richest person with a net worth of about $10.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It plans to commence operations as an invitation-only exchange in January before a wider opening to other investors later.

Binance Regulatory Woes

The world’s biggest crypto exchange has faced an almost perfect storm this year. The SEC filed a lawsuit against it in June, alleging that it violated securities laws, while in March, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged the exchange and CEO Changpeng Zhao with ”willful evasion of federal law.”

Court filings unsealed since have accused Binance.US of not cooperating with the SEC’s investigation. Binance.US cut its workforce by a third, and an exodus of staff globally from the firm has increased in recent months. 

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