On Aug. 22, Thailand’s parliament voted for Srettha Thavisin, a 60-year-old real estate tycoon, to be the country’s next prime minister. Thavisin was the sole candidate proposed by the Pheu Thai Party, winning 482 out of 747 votes. Thavisin is best known for his role as former president and CEO of Sansiri, one of Thailand’s largest real estate developers with some connection to the cryptocurrency industry.
Thavisin quit his position at Sansiri in April 2023, and sold his 4.4% stake in the company. In 2021, Sansiri joined a $225 million finance round of XSpring Capital, a crypto-friendly investment management firm, and in 2022 released its own token, the “SiriHub Token,” through XSpring. The token was part of a real estate-backed initial coin offering (ICO) that issued 240 million tokens to the public.
The Pheu Thai Party, which Thavisin joined in November 2022, has proposed distributing money to citizens via digital currency if they win the elections. Ahead of the vote, Thavisin took to Twitter to express his desire to better the country and its economy, saying, “My enemies are poverty and the inequality of the people. My goal is the well-being of all Thai people.”
In March, the Thai cabinet passed tax breaks for companies that issue investment tokens, with an expectation of generating $3.7 billion over two years. As Thavisin’s government is expected to take office by the end of September, it will be interesting to see how his background in cryptocurrency will influence Thailand’s crypto policies.