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Thailand SEC to investigate impact of Zipmex’s withdrawal freeze

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Thailand SEC to investigate impact of Zipmex’s withdrawal freeze

Thailand SEC to investigate impact of Zipmex’s withdrawal freeze Christian Nwobodo · 9 hours ago · 2 min read

Users affected by Zipmex’s withdrawal freeze were requested to provide feedback to Thailand’s SEC, as Zipmex faces a liquidity crisis from exposure to Celsius and Babel Finance.

2 min read

Updated: July 25, 2022 at 6:08 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched a public investigation to ascertain the impact of losses incurred by users following the suspension of withdrawals on the Zipmex platform.

Users are requested to fill out a form explaining their experience.

The direct investigative effort of the SEC with affected users is coming shortly after issuing a letter to the exchange, seeking clarification on how users’ funds held in its custody were managed. The regulator also requested information on Zipmex’s exposure to Celsius and Babel Finance.

It was reported that the crypto exchange, Zipmex had paused withdrawal requests for customers in the South Asian region, including Thailand, on July 20, due to volatile market conditions. It however resumed withdrawals the next day.

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Zipmex’s Liquidity Crisis

The ripple effect of the crypto winter has led several crypto companies to pause user activities, face liquidation risk, and even file for bankruptcy.

Zipmex’s current challenge is precipitated by financial difficulties faced by some of its partners, including Celsius and Babel Finance.

Following extreme market conditions, Celsius suspended withdrawals, swaps, and transfers of assets on its platform on June 13, 2022. Only about a month later, it officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy leaving several investors including Zipmex at a great loss. 

In a similar trajectory, Babel Finance on June 17, 2022, announced a  temporary suspension of redemptions and withdrawals from its platform. The exchange is currently exploring debt restructuring options.

These liquidity pressures resulted in Zipmax having a financial exposure to Babel and Celsius of $48 million and $5 million, respectively. For Celsius, its $5 million loan will likely be written off following its bankruptcy, but discussions are still ongoing with Babel on its $45 million loan.

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An unfavorable turn of events has led the once flourishing exchange to be struggling for survival. As of June 2022, Zipmex was valued at $52 million from Series B funding of $41 million in September 2021 and $11 million in March 2022. Talks were already underway with Coinbase as of June 9, 2022, for strategic investments that could value the exchange at $400 million. However, the market conditions changed the narrative.

A possible buyout in view

Amidst the liquidity crisis, the exchange is actively exploring all possible options to survive the crypto winter. In a recent post, Zipmex announced that it is in discussion with several investors for a possible buyout. It stated it has obtained a memorandum of understanding with an unnamed buyer but did not provide details.

📢 Important Announcement 📢
Our conversations with various interested parties have progressed significantly. One of those parties has offered terms in an MOU which includes confidentiality obligations so as to be able to commence Due Diligence. #zipmex

— ZIPMEX (@zipmex) July 24, 2022

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Zipmex enables up to $153 worth of ETH withdrawals

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Zipmex enables up to $153 worth of ETH withdrawals

Zipmex enables up to $153 worth of ETH withdrawals Monika Ghosh · 4 hours ago · 2 min read

The lender, which returned all SOL, XRP and ADA tokens to users over the past week, will allow withdrawal of up to 0.0045 BTC from Aug. 16.

2 min read

Updated: August 11, 2022 at 4:53 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Zipmex, the lender that had halted customer withdrawals on July 20, is allowing customers to access and withdraw up to 0.08 Ethereum (ETH) tokens, worth around $153 at the time of writing, starting Aug. 11

The firm will transfer the ETH tokens from the users’ Z wallets, used to earn interest and bonus, to the Trade wallets, used for trading and withdrawing. The customers would then be able to withdraw the Ethereum tokens to their private wallets.

All users with less than 0.08 ETH in their Z wallets will receive their assets in full in the Trade Wallets. However, those with over 0.08 ETH will have to wait for further updates.

The firm will also enable users to withdraw 0.0045 Bitcoins (BTC), worth about $111 at the time of writing, from Aug. 16, according to the official statement. The tokens will similarly be transferred from the Z wallets to the Trade wallets.

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According to Zipmex, these transfers will allow most of its users to receive their assets in full in regard to five tokens — Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as Solana (SOL), Ripple (XRP), and Cardano (ADA), which were fully returned to customers over the last week.

However, the lender added that the reinstatement of these withdrawals is just one step towards the larger goal of returning all customer assets.

In its statement, Zipmex said:

“We remain committed to complete transfers of all customers’ assets in a gradual manner and to accelerating all actions to resume the full service of Z Wallet.”

The firm added that it remains committed to building its native ZMT token, which received an additional investment from an existing backer. Zipmex is also trying to resume the functioning of its Z wallet, it added in the statement.

Thailand unfazed by crypto credit crisis

When Zipmex abruptly halted withdrawals last month, Thailand’s crypto and securities watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asked the firm to offer more clarifications. Zipmex operates across Southeast Asia and is registered with the Thailand SEC.

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The SEC later launched a public investigation to assess the impact of Zipmex’s withdrawal freeze. The lender then filed for a moratorium in Singapore to protect itself against legal action from creditors.

But despite the launched inquiry into Zipmex, the SEC is seemingly not worried as it approved four more crypto licenses last week. This included crypto broker Krungthai XSpring, exchange T-BOX Thailand, crypto advisor, and fund managers Coindee and Leif Capital Asset Management.

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Ripple shows interest in acquiring Celsius

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Ripple shows interest in acquiring Celsius

Ripple shows interest in acquiring Celsius Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 3 hours ago · 1 min read

A Ripple spokesperson reportedly said the firm was interested in looking for M&A opportunities to scale its business.

1 min read

Updated: August 10, 2022 at 9:12 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Ripple Labs could be interested in buying the assets of embattled crypto lender Celsius Network, Reuters reported Aug. 10.

A Ripple spokesperson reportedly said the firm was interested in looking for M&A opportunities to scale its business. However, the San Fransico-based company refused to confirm if it would purchase Celsius assets outright.

“We are interested in learning about Celsius and its assets and whether any could be relevant to our business.”

Reuters also reported that Ripple was represented in the Celsius bankruptcy proceedings.

Meanwhile, Ripple is one of the most valuable firms in the crypto space. The firm was valued at $15 billion in January. The firm also revealed that the net purchases of its XRP token were over $400 million during the second quarter.

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Ripple is currently under a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over whether the sales of its token qualify as a security offering.

Ripple is not the first firm to show interest in Celsius. Reports emerged that FTX walked out on a deal to acquire the crypto lender because of a $2 billion hole in its finances.

Celsius was one of the crypto firms affected by the record crash of the crypto market during the second quarter. The lender filed for bankruptcy on July 14 after halting withdrawals on June 12.

Since then, the firm has faced increased scrutiny from several state regulators in the United States. Its CEO Alex Mashinsky was recently accused of publicly giving misleading statements.

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German Crypto Exchange Nuri Files For Insolvency

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German Crypto Exchange Nuri Files For Insolvency

Cryptocurrency exchange Nuri has filed for insolvency, reportedly becoming Germany’s first fintech to take the step in a challenging year for startups in the industry. Customer access to the platform’s services and their funds will not be affected, the company assured.

Crypto Exchange Cites ‘Lasting Strain on Liquidity’ as Reason for Insolvency Filing

Berlin-based crypto exchange Nuri, formerly Bitwala, has filed for bankruptcy with a court in the German capital. The company made the move on Tuesday, Aug. 9, after unsuccessful attempts to secure a new financing round, the business newspaper Handelsblatt reported, noting that Nuri is the first German fintech to file for insolvency due to the latest crypto market slump.

In a statement, the exchange remarked that 2022 has been a challenging year for startups, especially those working with financial technologies, due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, political uncertainties and most recently, Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

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In addition, negative developments in the crypto space, including major sell-offs, the implosion of the Terra/Luna protocol, and the insolvency of Celsius and other crypto funds have led to a bear market, Nuri said, explaining:

We proceeded with the filling in due time to stay ahead of a lasting strain on the liquidity of our business.

Nuri Clients to Deposit and Withdraw Without Restrictions

The coin trading platform insisted that the filing will not affect its products and services, clients’ funds or investments. Customers will continue to have unimpeded access to their accounts and be able to deposit or withdraw all funds at any time, thanks to a partnership with Solarisbank. This applies to both cryptocurrency holdings and euro deposits.

The crypto exchange also emphasized it remains confident that the temporary insolvency proceedings offer a basis for developing and implementing a long-term restructuring plan. Nuri launched in 2015 and for a few years, until the rebranding in 2021, operated under the name Bitwala.

“This step became necessary to ensure the safest path forward for all our customers,” the company reiterated, and promised its team will do everything possible to ensure that its products and services continue to serve present and future customers.

Tags in this story

Bankruptcy, Bitwala, Crypto, crypto exchange, crypto market, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, downturn, Exchange, filing, german, Germany, Insolvency, market, Nuri, Slump, trading platform

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Do you expect other German crypto companies to file for insolvency? Let us know in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, P365

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