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Thai SEC to Suspend Zipmex License

Digital asset exchanges operating in Asian nations suffered from financial instability during the crypto winter. However, some of these platforms are still reeling from the ensuing damage. One such platform is the Zipmex exchange. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has sent a recommendation to the Ministry of Finance for revoking the practice license of the firm.

The announcement was published on 23rd February. The news has arrived at a time when the platform is reeling from other issues. SEC officials conducted a meeting on 21st February to discuss the terms of business suspension for Zipmex. The inactivation order is to go into effect from 1st February. However, the platform is allowed to continue fund withdrawals for existing account holders.

The regulatory agency has allowed the platform to initiate requests for returning funds until 11th March. After this time, Zipmex is directed to put the remainder of assets on the trading floor in a trusted and secure system and send a report of this reserve to the SEC.

Zipmex was operating as a limited company containing liabilities, assets, and rights. However, the agency has noted in its official notification that the firm was also subjected to legal action as part of its licensing agreement.

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Thai Regulators Charge Zipmex for Not Following SEC Requirements

SEC officials have noted that Zipmex exchange failed to meet a deadline to fulfill net capital. At the same time, the platform is also charged with retaining a substandard personnel and management structure that the agency described as insufficient and inappropriate.

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The regulators issued a deadline of 15 days to comply with SEC requirements on 1st February. However, the platform was unable to comply with the regulatory requirements.

Therefore, regulators moved to revoke its practice license. The agency also issued a warrant of corruption against former CEO Akalarp Yimwilai on 8th February. This trading platform first dealt with troubles in 2022.

Zipmex administration suspended withdrawal options citing concerns regarding cryptocurrency lending interest in Babel and Celsius. Both these platforms were undergoing a bankruptcy procedure at the time. Zipmex has also operating branches in Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia since 2020.

However, Zipmex reactivated Trade Wallet access after 3 days. Nevertheless, investors on the platform were still unable to use Z Wallets in 2023. Coinbase acquired Zimpex in 2022. The US-based crypto trading platform made a strategic investment with an undisclosed amount.

However, the acquisition of Zipmex was not listed in the top 3 investment ventures of the American trading platform. Zipmex applied for debt relief in Singapore in July 2022 and in September of the same year, the Thai SEC initiated a police complaint against the firm.

Asian Crypto Investors do not have Access to Bitcoin ETFs

According to data projections from statistica.com, Asian nations have been ranked at the top on a global scale in terms of cryptocurrency investment. However, regulators from various Asian jurisdictions such as Thailand, South Korea, India, Vietnam, Singapore, and Indonesia reportedly taking steps to keep investors from seeking exposure in US-based Bitcoin spot ETF investments.

Speaking on the matter, Justin D’Anethan, the head of Hong Kong-based crypto exchange Keyrock noticed that the perceived negativity towards crypto ETFs in Asian nations could be a strategy to buy time to launch local alternatives.

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Alternative Investment Options

Meanwhile, Jason Titman COO of Australian exchange Swyftx noted that an ETF-phobic policy in these countries is a bold move that lacks rhyme and reason. He further stated that with the passage of time regulators may face increasing pressure from local investors to give a better reason for limiting access in one of the biggest investment ventures to only wealthy investors.

At the same time, he acknowledged that regulators in their respective jurisdictions reserve a right to protect the investment interests of their citizens. However, alternatively, Asian regulators should consider granting an approval to local financial institutions to register and list crypto-based ETFs to meet investment demands.

Meanwhile, Belgian-based ETF analytics firm Euroclear has reported that crypto-ETFs in Asia increased by 19% in comparison to 14% in other parts of the globe.


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Hassan Mehmood (Saudi Arabia)

Hassan is currently working as a news reporter for Tokenhell. He is a professional content writer with 2 years of experience. He has a degree in journalism.

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