Asian Crypto Collapse Spreads as Zipmex Suspends Baht Withdrawals

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Crypto exchange Zipmex suspended trading on Wednesday.
Crypto exchange Zipmex suspended trading on Wednesday.

Thai cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex suspended trading and baht withdrawals on Wednesday after a spate of bitcoin bankruptcies.

According to Nikkei, Zipmex Thailand, a locally regulated firm, halted operations for one hour on Wednesday evening, citing market volatility and liquidity issues experienced by partner Zipmex Global Singapore. It was the first time an Asian company acknowledged exposure to crypto lenders Celsius, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week, and Babel Finance, which is restructuring after suspending withdrawals last month.

“Zipmex’s ZipUp+ products have a problem. We are suspending transfers between Z Wallet and Trade Wallet,” said Akalarp Yimwilai, CEO of Zipmex Thailand. “All digital assets and baht that are in the Trade Wallet can still be deposited and withdrawn.”

Akalarp announced the suspension Wednesday on Facebook Live.

Zipmex ZipUp+ was being used by 200,000 Thai customers to deposit fiat and digital currency, which Zipmex Global then invested in Celsius and Babel Finance. Since its inception in 2018, the exchange has processed USD 1 billion in total transaction value and raised USD 62.9 million. Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, which is majority-owned by Japan’s MUFG Bank, participated in the most recent USD 41 million Series B funding round.

Celsius and Babel Finance are among a number of crypto players who have faced difficulties in recent months.

A spokesperson for the Monetary Authority of Singapore stated that the regulator was evaluating Zipmex’s application for a crypto services license and would consult with the company regarding recent events, including the decision to suspend withdrawals.

Zipmex stated that it was cooperating with the Thai Securities Exchange Commission, while the Indonesian government stated that it would request Zipmex Indonesia to secure its crypto asset trading from the situation’s effects.