Thai crypto exchange Zipmex given 15 days to suspend trading
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has mandated the crypto exchange Zipmex to halt its digital asset trading and brokerage services.
This decision follows the SEC’s previous directive on January 12, requiring Zipmex to revise its liquid capital maintenance and management structure. As of February 1, the SEC found that Zipmex had not satisfactorily met these requirements.
The Singapore-based platform is now given a 15-day period to rectify its financial situation and implement measures to prevent the misuse of customer funds. Zipmex is required to submit the results of these corrections to the SEC within this timeframe. The crypto exchange will only be allowed to resume normal operations upon obtaining approval from the SEC.
In response to the SEC’s order, Zipmex revealed that it had already ceased trading and deposit services. Furthermore, the exchange advised its customers to withdraw their assets, as indicated in its website announcements in December and January.
Zipmex’s operational challenges began in July 2022 when it suspended withdrawals. This decision was influenced by the broader market fallout following the collapse of the Terra ecosystem and the subsequent folding of several crypto lenders. To address its financial losses, Zipmex sought creditor protection and initiated efforts to raise capital.
In November 2023, Zipmex proposed a restructuring plan that involves an initial payout of approximately 3.35 cents per dollar of claims, with the possibility of increasing the repayment to as much as 29.35 cents per dollar. This contingent increase depends on the successful recovery of funds under the revised restructuring strategy. However, this plan faced pushback from major creditors who demanded a thorough review of the exchange’s assets and liabilities.
The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in Singapore in 2022, has been working to manage its debt of $97.1 million. The financial woes of Zipmex were exacerbated by its $53 million exposure to troubled crypto lenders Babel Finance and Celsius. The exchange has since been seeking court extensions for a moratorium on its debt to strategize its recovery and repayment plan.
A potential $100 million buyout deal that could have offered some relief to Zipmex fell through last year when the prospective buyer, V Ventures, withdrew.
Zipmex operates across Thailand, Australia, and Indonesia, but it has come under scrutiny by Thailand’s SEC. The issues involve allegations of improper use of a digital asset custodian service by Zipmex Thailand and accusations that the company directed customers towards the Singapore-based exchange Zipmex Pte, raising conflict of interest concerns.