Zipmex mulling Asia-Pacific expansion
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Zipmex mulling Asia-Pacific expansion

Mr Akalarp says it is gratifying banks are now interested in digital assets and SCBx actually invested in a local digital asset exchange.
Mr Akalarp says it is gratifying banks are now interested in digital assets and SCBx actually invested in a local digital asset exchange.

Zipmex, a digital asset exchange platform, is planning to expand its business to other countries in Asia-Pacific and is considering a partnership with a financial institution next year with the goal of becoming the region's leading digital exchange.

Zipmex also wants to list on a stock exchange, probably the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or Nasdaq, and launch new cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other items on its exchange next year.

The company has operations in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. It provides a wide range of asset options with high liquidity and services that allow investors to maximise their profits.

The group is seeking partnerships with traditional, established financial institutions and currently is in talks with several.

"It is gratifying banks are now interested in digital assets and some, such as SCBx, have actually invested in a local digital asset exchange," said Akalarp Yimwilai, Zipmex co-founder and chief executive of Zipmex Thailand.

"The entry of traditional players will enhance the digital asset investor base."

He said SCBx is a large bank with a huge customer base as well as the capital to enable rapid growth for the industry.

Mr Akalarp said Zipmex has a partnership with Krungsri Finnovate, the venture capital arm of Bank of Ayudhya (BAY). The company invested in Zipmex Asia, the parent company of Zipmex Thailand based in Singapore, in a Series B funding round in which Zipmex raised US$41 million.

There is a possibility BAY will increase its investment in Zipmex for future projects after the bank invested in the Series A and B funding rounds, he said.

Marcus Lim, a co-founder of Zipmex, said the Thai operation is the fastest growing of its four exchanges.

Thanks to support from market participants and local regulators, Thailand's digital asset ecosystem has rapidly developed and is more advanced than others in Asia-Pacific, said Mr Lim.

However, he said a remaining obstacle is people in the region still have low financial literacy and many language barriers.

The company needs to provide information and data to support customer learning so they can develop an accurate understanding of the available products, said Mr Lim.

Zipmex will continue to help investors improve their financial literacy and understand the technology and underlying assets so they can recognise the risks and returns of its products, he said.

The company has projects under development that are slated to launch soon, including Token Purchase, which allows customers to use ZMTs (Zipmex coins) to purchase other tokens.

Mr Akalarp said Zipmex Thailand saw rapid growth in 2021 and has around 500,000 crypto trading accounts, with around 9,000 new accounts under the qualification and know-your-customer process.

According to figures from the Securities and Exchange Commission, there are roughly 1.7 million traders on local digital asset exchanges and it is estimated Zipmex's trading volume accounts for about a quarter of the total turnover of the digital asset market in Thailand.

Mr Akalarp said 2022 will be an exciting year for the digital asset industry as many changes in the technological landscape, such as the rise of the metaverse, will support the growth of digital assets in the future.

He said the company expects the emergence of more NFTs, utility tokens and GameFi products next year that will enrich the local digital asset ecosystem and grow along with the two major cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Mr Akalarp said Facebook's rebranding as Meta also suggests digital businesses, NFTs and digital currencies will all grow along with the metaverse.

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