Asian crypto exchange Zipmex gets a license in Thailand; eyes Vietnam expansion next

Quick Take

  • Singapore-headquartered crypto exchange Zipmex has received a license in Thailand
  • Akalarp Yimwilai, co-founder of Zipmex, told The Block that it took 12 months for the exchange to get the license
  • Looking ahead, Zipmex has its eye on Vietnam for its next expansion, said Yimwilai

Cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex, which currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, has received the green light to operate in Thailand.

The exchange has obtained a license from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a statement shared with The Block on Monday. Zipmex said it had to meet “several stringent conditions” to get the license, including having shareholder equity of at least 50 million baht (about $1.6 million).

Akalarp Yimwilai, co-founder of Zipmex and CEO of the exchange’s Thailand unit, told The Block that it took 12 months for Zipmex to get the license. Zipmex began the process early last year.

'Emergency Decree'

In August 2018, a total of 20 crypto firms had applied for a license from the SEC. Early last year, the regulator gave licenses to four crypto firms - Bitcoin Exchange, Bitkub Online, Satang Corporation, and Coins TH Co.  

Two firms - Cash2coin and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange (SEADEX) - at the time failed to get a license as they had not met the required standards. For instance, their know-your-customer (KYC) processes were “inconsistent.”

Thailand’s SEC regulates crypto firms under the “Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561,” which was issued in 2018. Huobi Thailand also recently obtained a license but is yet to start operations.

“Being licensed and regulated by the SEC was always our main priority as we believe that being a regulated entity will help provide trust to newcomers looking to enter the digital assets market,” Yimwilai said in the statement.

Looking ahead

Zipmex is yet to go live with services in Thailand. Yimwilai told The Block that the exchange is currently awaiting activation, and is expecting to launch the platform “within the first quarter of 2020.”

The license follows Zipmex’s $3 million pre-Series A funding round last September. The round was led by Infinity Blockchain Holdings.

Zipmex has raised a total of $5 million to date, and its current valuation stands at $18 million, Yimwilai told The Block. He added that 25 people are currently working for the exchange across 7 countries - that number was 15 last year and the exchange is looking to hire more staff.

Looking ahead, Zipmex has its eye on Vietnam for its next expansion, Yimwilai told The Block.

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