Asia’s popular cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex, which currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia and Australia, is the first exchange in 2020 to receive a coveted digital assets exchange license from Thailand’s regulatory authority.
According to the official press release on January 20, Zipmex became the first exchange of this year to have been granted a license from the nation’s Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Following the news, Zipmex told the press that the process of securing the license hadn’t been easy as the firm had to comply with numerous rigorous conditions such as proving they had robust finances, with a shareholder equity worth over 50 million baht ($1.6 million) as well as proving to operate at a high standard in their IT and cybersecurity systems.
In addition to that, licensed digital assets operators that are granted a license are – under the current Thai law – classified as financial institutions and must comply with Anti Money Laundering reporting obligations.
Akalarp Yimwilai, co-founder and CEO of Zipmex, remarked excitedly that it took about twelve months to receive the much-awaited approval from the SEC.
“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 a statement.
Zipmex is yet to go live with services in Thailand. Yimwilai stated that the exchange is currently awaiting activation, and will launch the platform within the first quarter of 2020.
In the meantime, so far around twenty crypto firms have applied for approval from the SEC, and only four have been granted the license, including Bitkub Online, Bitcoin Exchange, Coins TH Co., and Satang Corporation. The SEC cited insufficient and inconsistent Know-Your-Customer procedures as the reason for rejecting the other firms.
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.
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, according to the exchange.
The Singapore-based exchange is one of the most preferred cryptocurrency exchanges of the Asia Pacific region, as the platform managed to handle trades worth 67 billion Indonesian Rupiah within one month of its launch in Indonesia. Since then, it has witnessed an exponential rise in its trade volumes and charted its expansion plan to the tee. As to what lays ahead, Yimwilai revealed that it has its eye on Vietnam for its next expansion.