The culmination of Thailand’s political saga has witnessed the ascension of Srettha Thavisin, a renowned real estate mogul with crypto affiliations, to the Prime Ministerial role. As the political reins transition to the Pheu Thai party following tumultuous elections, a novel proposition of disbursing a ‘airdrop’ of 10,000 THB to Thai citizens is on the horizon.
Before stepping into the political spectrum, Thavisin helmed Sansiri, a significant real estate entity that was actively entwined with Thailand’s digital asset industry. A testament to this involvement was in 2021 when Sansiri invested in a 15% stake in XSpring, a local digital asset service entity that collaborates with Krungthai Bank and also manages a licensed ICO platform. Subsequently, the company unveiled the “SiriHub Token” via XSpring, mirroring a REIT system and offering dividends sourced from the prominent Sansiri Campus.
The hallmark of Thavisin’s electoral campaign was the proposition of a national ‘airdrop’. This entails bestowing every Thai citizen, aged 16 and above, with 10,000 THB ($300) – with the caveat that this sum can be utilized solely within a 4-kilometer precinct of their domicile, as elucidated by an insider to the Bangkok Post. This airdrop will be realized via a specialized national token, distinct from established cryptocurrencies. Participating vendors can then translate these tokens into tangible cash at designated banking institutions.
This ambitious initiative has not been without its detractors, primarily due to the staggering estimated cost of 500 billion THB ($14.3 billion) and the choice of blockchain technology over prevailing digital banking solutions in Thailand. Udomsak Rakwongwan, co-founder of the decentralized platform FWX.finance, expressed his reservations, opining that using blockchain for this venture might be superfluous, especially when simpler digital banking solutions like Paotang already cater to governmental agendas in Thailand. Nonetheless, he remains optimistic about a softer crypto regulatory landscape under the new regime, sparking a renaissance in Thai crypto endeavors.
Remarkably, Thailand’s political arena isn’t bereft of crypto enthusiasts. Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party, despite his party’s popular vote triumph, couldn’t clinch the PM title. Yet, his and Thavisin’s mutual admiration for crypto is palpable. As per July report, Pita disclosed ownership of prominent cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, ETH, ADA, and BNB. Although these assets constitute a minuscule fraction of his net worth, it’s noteworthy that prominent Thai political figures share a penchant for HODLing crypto assets.