On Wednesday, the Singaporean crypto exchange Zipmex announced it was halting customer withdrawals of funds due to “volatile market conditions.” The firm bills itself as “Asia’s leading digital assets exchange” working primarily in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Thailand.
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“Due to a combination of circumstances beyond our control including volatile market conditions, and the resulting financial difficulties of our key business partners, to maintain the integrity of our platform, we would be pausing withdrawals until further notice,” Zipmex said.
One of the core factors was financial contagion stemming from its exposure to Babel Finance and Celsius Network, beleaguered crypto lenders that are undergoing financial restructuring after recently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The company said that trading on its platform would remain disabled until further notice, and that customer security was “the number one priority.”
In the last 24 hours, CoinMarketCap logged $6.9 million worth of trading volume on the platform.
The move surprised some industry players, as the firm had expansion plans for its Southeast Asian market and even planned to add Vietnam to its list of countries. In March, Zipmex had also raised $52 million in Series B funding.
Zipmex is a key player in Southeast Asia’s crypto landscape, representing almost one-quarter of Thailand’s total revenue in the crypto market, which serves almost 1.7 million investors.
The company also recently waded into the Asian metaverse through a partnership with Polygon Studios that was expected to lure in more new customers.
Zipmex markets itself to users by claiming that customers who deposit funds can get up to 10% in rewards each year, with the company offering 10% returns on USDC stablecoins and 6% on Bitcoin.