Crypto exchange platform Zipmex has been granted a digital assets exchange license to operate in Thailand. The crypto exchange had to wait 12 months to obtain the license and is looking to expand to other places in Southeast Asia.
Thai SEC gives Crypto Exchange The Green Light
According to reports from Thai crypto news outlet SiamBlockchain, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted crypto trading platform, Zipmex, a license to provide digital assets and exchange services in the country.
In August 2018, reports claimed that a total of 20 cryptocurrency firms applied for the same license from the SEC. Only four were granted the license a few months later in early 2019.
Co-founder of Zipmex and CEO of the exchange’s Thailand unit, Akalarp Yimwilai said it took the firm 12 months to get the license after beginning the application process in early 2019. He further remarked that:
“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 that to get the license, Zipmex had to meet several stringent requirements including having shareholder equity of at least $1.6 million (about 50 million baht).
Zipmex now joins crypto firms – Bitcoin Exchange, Bitkub Online, Satang Corporation, and Coins TH Co on the growing list of crypto firms that have been granted this license by Thai’s SEC.
The country’s SEC regulates cryptocurrency firms under its Emergency Decree in Digital Asset Business B.E. 2561 issued back in 2018. Since then the SEC has prudently granted trading licenses to a few firms that have been able to meet their requirements.
What Next For Zipmex?
Zipmex has been robust in chasing its ambitions of becoming one of the biggest crypto exchanges across Southeast Asia. Back in September 2019, the firm raised $3 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Infinity Blockchain Holdings.
As at press time, the crypto-fiat exchange firm has raised about $5 million in total. Its current market valuation stands at $18 million with over 25 people working for the exchange across 7 different countries. The firm also currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, and Australia.
Zipmex is yet to launch operations in Thailand but plans have been set to do so within the first quarter of 2020, according to Yimwilai. The CEO also hinted that the firm has its eyes set on an expansion to Vietnam.
Growing Crypto Popularity Across Southeast Asia
Despite its initial reluctance to accept cryptocurrency, Thailand has made significant progress in its adoption of virtual assets and cryptocurrency. Virtual assets and cryptocurrencies have also seen a rise in popularity across the Southeast Asia region.
In March 2019, Blockonomi reported that the Stock Exchange of Thailand officially confirmed the development of its very own digital asset platform. This was the first major move by Thailand in its campaign to become crypto-friendly.
Also in March 2019, it was reported that Thailand’s SEC approved the country’s first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) portal. The SEC said it hoped this would pave the way for establishing a regulated crypto fundraising space.
Malaysia was reported to have granted a temporary license to three crypto exchanges back in July 2019. Sinergy Technologies, Tokenize Technology, and Luno Malaysia were granted trading licenses by the Malaysian Security Commission as the country looked to regularize its crypto scene.
It was reported in July 2019 that Singapore food court operator Kopitiam started accepting payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company developed a payment system dubbed KOPItech in a bid to keep up with the growing crypto popularity in Singapore.