Thai SEC proposes to revoke license of troubled exchange Zipmex

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The Securities and Exchange Commission Board of Thailand (SEC) has forwarded a recommendation to the Finance Ministry to revoke crypto exchange Zipmex’s digital asset business license, it announced on Feb. 23. This is the latest in a series of setbacks in Thailand for the exchange.

At a meeting on Feb. 21, the SEC also resolved that Zipmex’s business suspension, imposed on Feb. 1, would continue and clients could request the return of their assets on the exchange through March 11. After that date, Zipmex will be required to place unclaimed assets in a “trusted and secured system” and report it to the SEC. The agency noted:

“Even after the effective revocation of its license, Zipmex retains its status as a limited company with corresponding rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the possibility of being subject to legal action.”

This move comes after Zipmex failed to meet a deadline to increase its net capital and improve its personnel and management structure, which the SEC had found to be “inappropriate and insufficient.” On Ge Zipmex was given 15 days to comply with the SEC on Feb. 1. It was ordered to suspend business operations at that time. The SEC said it was charging former Zipmex CEO Akalarp Yimwilai with corruption on Feb. 8.

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The exchange’s troubles began in 2022. On July 20 of that year, it suspended withdrawals for weeks due to concerns over its exposure to crypto lenders Babel and Celsius, which were facing bankruptcy. Zipmex restored access to Trade Wallets after three days, but its Z Wallets remained blocked into the following year.

Coinbase made an unsuccessful attempt to acquire Zipmex in 2022. Coinbase ended up making a “strategic investment” of unspecified size, but was not listed among the exchange’s top three investors in a report in August.

Zipmex filed for debt relief in Singapore on July 27, 2022. In September 2022, the SEC recommended police action against Zipmex for failing to provide information under the country’s Digital Assets Act. It faced more scrutiny from the SEC the following January as it prepared for acquisition by Thai investors V Ventures. That deal also fell through.

The SEC granted Zipmex a license in January 2020. The exchange operates in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia.

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