Digital assets exchange Huobi will close down its Thailand operations permanently with effect from July 1, 2022. A unit of the Seychelles-based company, Huobi Thailand, ran into trouble with the local watchdog in February-March 2021 when it was red-flagged for violation of regulations.
Huobi Shuts Down Thai Ops
“Due to the decision of the board of SEC, Huobi Thailand is no longer a licensed exchange. We will close down the platform permanently on July 1, 2022,” the company said in an announcement on its website.
Huobi acknowledged that despite its efforts to contact customers and request them to withdraw their assets, there are still some out-of-reach consumers. It provided contact details for such clients to withdraw their assets after the platform closes down permanently.
“After the closure of the Huobi Thailand platform, Huobi Thailand will no longer have any connections nor legal binding with Huobi Group and its affiliates. Huobi Group and its affiliates are not and will not be responsible for any issues regarding to Huobi Thailand,” the statement added.
Trouble With the Regulator
After a review in February-March last year, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it had found flaws in the crypto exchange’s management structure and platform.
On April 1, 2022, the watchdog asked Huobi to temporarily halt its services, return the assets to its customers, and fix the regulatory flaws in three months. After a few extensions and Huobi’s failure to rectify the problems flagged by the SEC, the regulator in September last year recommended to the Finance Ministry to revoke the exchange’s license.
No Plans to Adopt Bitcoin
In March, Malaysia’s Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah denied speculations that the South East Asian nation was planning to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender.
“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not suitable for use as a payment instrument due to various limitations,” he clarified, without giving details about the “limitations.”
Huobi Fund for Web3, DeFi
Huobi, however, is bullish on Web3 and DeFi as it created a new investment arm Ivy Blocks with $1 billion in cryptocurrencies to fund projects in these fields.
“Many promising projects tend to encounter liquidity constraints and a lack of go-to-market support, which present significant barriers to growth. Our focus on providing such projects with liquidity investments and incubation services will no doubt contribute towards creating a better, more inclusive DeFi and Web 3 blockchain ecosystem,” commented Huobi CFO Lily Zhang.