- Thailand’s SEC mandates Zipmex to halt operations to rectify financial and operational issues within 15 days.
- Non-compliance with SEC directives may lead to revocation of Zipmex’s operating license by the Minister of Finance.
- Zipmex’s financial struggles include a $97 million debt and challenges in restructuring plans with creditors.
To a resolute action geared toward regulating the digital asset market, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Zipmex to suspend the trading and brokerage services from February 2 onwards. This suspension, put into effect from February 1, is aimed at stopping the activities temporarily, giving Zipmex 15 days to plug its financial gaps and operational loopholes. This direction highlights the SEC’s intention to preserve the stability and integrity of the nation’s economic systems.
A Glimpse into the Suspension’s Conditions
The SEC’s engagement with Zipmex didn’t begin with this suspension. On January 12, the regulator had already pinpointed areas needing immediate attention—specifically, the exchange’s liquid capital maintenance and management structure. Despite these earlier interventions, the SEC’s evaluation on
Thursday highlighted a continuing dissatisfaction with Zipmex’s adherence to these directives. The ongoing suspension serves not only as a corrective measure but also as a period during which Zipmex is expected to align with regulatory expectations to resume its operations.
Notably, the SEC has emphasized that during this suspension, Zipmex must ensure that its customers retain the ability to withdraw their assets at any given time. The statement from SEC Deputy Secretary General Anek Yuyuen clarifies the consequences of failing to meet these requirements, pointing towards a possible revocation of the order by the Minister of Finance, should compliance not be achieved within the stipulated timeframe.
“If the digital asset business operator is unable to comply with the SEC’s orders under Section 35, paragraph two, within the specified period, the SEC may propose that the Minister of Finance consider revoking the order.”
The Road to Regulatory Compliance
Significant milestones and setbacks have marked Zipmex’s journey through regulatory scrutiny and operational challenges. The exchange had preemptively ceased trading and deposit services, urging customers to withdraw their assets through announcements on its website in December and January. This move came against a broader investigation initiated by the SEC in December 2022 amidst a downturn in the crypto market. Allegations of operating without regulatory approval and an under-investigation acquisition by V Ventures have further compounded Zipmex’s regulatory woes.
In a bid to navigate through these turbulent waters, Zipmex had previously suspended trading in November 2023, signaling an effort to realign with regulatory expectations. The Singapore-based exchange, facing a daunting financial hurdle, had filed for debt relief in 2022, with reported liabilities to customers amounting to $97 million.
In recent events, Zipmex proposed a restructuring plan offering creditors 3.35 cents per dollar for initial claims. Yet, this proposal was resisted by significant creditors, who demanded a thorough review of the exchange’s assets and liabilities, highlighting the complexities in achieving a resolution satisfying all stakeholders involved.
The Pivotal Question: What Comes Next?
As Zipmex grapples with its financial and regulatory challenges, the critical question remains: Will the cryptocurrency exchange abide by the SEC standards in the appointed time, or will the authorities take more stringent action against it? This situation highlights Zipmex’s efforts to navigate through its current predicaments.
It also casts a broader reflection on the regulatory landscape of digital asset exchanges. As the minutes click away, Zipmex’s steps in the coming days will elucidate its fate in the digital assets market. This case brings forward the complexity of striking a balance between innovation, regulation, and the overall stability of the financial environment.
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