Real estate developer Srettha Thavisin has been appointed the next Prime Minister of Thailand as the Pheu Thai takes control of the country after a controversial election.
Prior to a life in politics, Srettha was the CEO of real estate developer Sansiri which was an active participant in the country’s digital asset sector. In 2021, Sansiri took a 15% stake in Thailand-based digital asset service provider XSpring, which operates a crypto broker in conjunction with Krungthai Bank as well as a licensed ICO portal.
A year later, Sansiri launched its “SiriHub Token” on XSpring, a REIT-like structure that provides dividends from Sansiri Campus, one of the company’s major developments.
A national airdrop
Central to Srettha’s campaign has been a promise for a national ‘airdrop’, where every Thai citizen will receive 10,000 thai baht ($300).
The 10,000 baht (THB) would be given to every Thai citizen 16 years and over, and can only be spent within four-kilometers of their home, a party spokesperson explained to the Bangkok Post.
The airdrop will use a form of national token, not an existing digital asset or cryptocurrency. Vendors will be able to convert it to cash at designated banks.
This project has had its share of critics because of the sheer cost, estimated to be at 500 billion THB ($14.3 billion) and the use of blockchain technology when there are existing digital banking initiatives already in use in Thailand.
“While I want to see an adoption of Blockchain here, using blockchain and tokens for this campaign is an overkill,” Udomsak Rakwongwan, the co-founder of FWX.finance, a decentralized derivatives platform, told CoinDesk. “The majority of Thais are already using Paotang, a digital banking wallet tailored for government initiatives. This may be simpler and easier to implement compared with a potentially more complex blockchain.”
Udomsak anticipates that the new administration will continue to put forward more lenient crypto regulation which will lead to a surge in Thai crypto projects.
“Thailand’s crypto landscape is evolving rapidly,” he says, pointing to Sansiri’s involvement with ICOs.
Bipartisan crypto holdings
Although Srettha likely sees little in common with Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of Thailand’s Move Forward Party, which won the popular vote but failed to get their leader nominated as Prime Minister, the two politicians are both fans of crypto.
As CoinDesk reported in July, Pita, disclosed that he owns bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Cardano (ADA) and BNB.
Although his cumulative crypto holdings only amount to thousands of dollars, and form a small percentage of his wealth, it is notable that two major politicians in the country are HODLers.
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