Southeast Asian crypto exchange Zipmex suspends withdrawals

Zipmex is the latest in a string of crypto players globally to run into difficulties following a sharp sell off in markets.

Southeast Asia-focused cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex has suspended withdrawals, the company said in a tweet on Wednesday night, with an executive of its Thai affiliate citing liquidity difficulties at crypto lenders Babel Finance and Celsius.

Zipmex, which says it operates in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia, is the latest in a string of crypto players globally to run into difficulties following a sharp sell off in markets that started in May with the collapse of two paired tokens, Luna and TerraUSD.

The company’s tweet cited “volatile market conditions and the resulting financial difficulties of our key business partners” for the suspension.

Zipmex Thailand CEO Akalarp Yimwilai told an online livestream on Wednesday evening that the local affiliate’s difficulties stemmed from problems at Singapore-based Zipmex Global, whose partners, including Babel Finance and Celsius, were experiencing liquidity problems.

Zipmex Global and its CEO did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The relationship between Zipmex Global and Zipmex Thailand was not immediately clear. Akalarp said Zipmex Thailand had resumed operations apart from transactions linked to one investment product.

U.S.-based Celsius did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside U.S. office hours. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 13, listing a $1.19 billion deficit on its balance sheet.

Crypto financial services provider Babel Finance suspended withdrawals in June. The company did not immediately comment on Akalarp’s remarks.

The two are among several crypto players that have fallen into difficulties in recent months.

Singapore-based crypto fund Three Arrows Capital is in liquidation, prompting expectations in Singapore’s crypto sector of further restructuring and greater regulatory scrutiny.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore had no immediate comment on Zipmex’s situation.

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission said it had asked Zipmex Thailand to explain its situation. Akalarp said it had done so.

Indonesia’s government said it would ask Zipmex Indonesia to ensure that its crypto asset trading is safeguarded from the impact of the situation at Zipmex Global.

In a separate incident, South Korean prosecutors said they had carried out search and seizure operations at local crypto-currency exchanges looking for evidence of potentially illegal practices related to Luna’s collapse.