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Zipmex Shuts Down: Thailand’s Crypto Exchange Closes Amid CEO Fraud Allegations

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • The Thai SEC charges former Zipmex Thailand CEO Akarlap Yimwilai with publishing false information and misleading customers.
  • Amid bankruptcy reorganization, Zipmex sought a two-month moratorium on some repayments following the failure of Terra Luna.
  • US-based exchange Bakkt, hit by the bear market, plans to liquidate $150 million of securities to operate for the next year.
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Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged the former CEO of Zipmex Thailand for publishing false information and misleading customers. The SEC said Akarlap Yimwilai, who was in charge of the Thai unit of the Singapore crypto exchange from 2018 to 2023, misled customers, even as US rival exchange Bakkt cites cash flow issues.

The Thai SEC accused former Zipmex Thailand CEO Akarlap Yimwila of corruption and deception in a statement on Thursday.

Thailand SEC Accuses Zipmex of Fraud

According to the Thai SEC, Zipmex Thailand moved funds from Zipmex’s Z Wallet to an overseas crypto wallet. This action contradicts the wallet’s terms of service, in which customers do not expect their funds to be moved for the company’s benefit. The SEC says that the action constitutes fraud and has petitioned the CEO of the Provincial Crime Suppression Division Office to investigate the allegations.

Read more: Crypto vs. Stocks: Where To Invest Your Money in 2023

Zipmex Thailand is the local business of its Singapore parent, Zipmex, and received an operating license from the SEC in 2020. The regulator fined the exchange and Yimwilai for alleged violations of the digital asset trading law in 2021. Last week, it ordered the business to suspend its digital asset trading and brokerage. 

zipmex thailand crypto
Thailand Ranks Tenth in 2023 Crypto Adoption Index | Source: Chainalysis

Zipmex filed for a two-month moratorium on repayments amid a bankruptcy reorganization during the crypto bear market. The exchange filed for bankruptcy in late July 2022 after the collapse of the Terra Luna ecosystem. The court approved its moratorium, shortly after which Yimwilai stepped down as the CEO of Zipmex Asia.

Bakkt Crypto Exchange Faces Liquidity Issues

US-based crypto exchange Bakkt may also need protection from creditors. Also hit by the 2002 bear market, the company said it may not have enough liquidity to survive the next 12 months. 

In a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that evolving conditions have hindered its expansion into overseas markets and generated revenues. Accordingly, the company plans to liquidate $150 million of securities to receive cash to continue operations. 

“If we cannot continue as a viable entity, our stockholders would likely lose most or all of their investment in us,” the exchange said.

Read more: The 7 Hottest Blockchain Stocks to Watch in 2023

NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange owns the Bakkt exchange. The firm launched an initial public offering (IPO) in October 2021.

Investors have lost much since the listing, as Bakkt’s stock price has fallen 85% to $1.45 since then. The company’s trading revenues have also been affected by the delisting of popular altcoins, ADA, MATIC, and SOL, following the US SEC’s allegations they were unregistered securities.

BeInCrypto has reached out to Bakkt but has yet to hear back at publication time.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...