Customers with funds stuck in digital asset exchange Zipmex may be one step closer to recovering their funds following an incoming acquisition of the firm.
Bloomberg reports that Zipmex is inching towards a buyout by Thai venture capital fund V Ventures in a deal worth $100 million after weeks of intense negotiation. The deal will see V Ventures own 90% of the embattled exchange as part of attempts to raise liquidity.
V Ventures is reportedly offering $30 million in cash, with the balance set to be paid in digital assets. According to insider reports, Zipmex will channel the funds towards unlocking the customer funds that have been frozen on the platform. Zipmex noted in a court filing that if the deal sails through, customers will be settled by April 2023.
V Ventures, a subsidiary of Thoresen Thai Agencies (TTA) PLC, has built a reputation in the VC ecosystem for making “long-term bets on founders,” but an acquisition of Zipmex marks the first foray into Web 3. The firm has made nine investments, including seven startups with an exit and two funds worth over $50 million.
Zipmex has been in the eye of the storm since July after it halted withdrawals on the grounds of a “combination of circumstances” beyond its control. The virtual currency exchange, with reach in Singapore, Thailand, Australia, and Indonesia, headed to court to obtain a moratorium against lawsuits from creditors following the abrupt pause in its service.
After obtaining three months of creditor protection from a Singaporean High Court, the firm is seeking an additional extension until April 2023 to conclude a restructuring process. Despite the turmoil around the exchange, Zipmex has resumed some of its operations, like kickstarting withdrawals from trade wallets, and hopes that the rough patch will come to an end.
“Ever since the black swan events surrounding the crypto space Zipmex has retrieved the majority of our funds and assets that were historically deposited with our deployment partners and have been actively working to resolve the situation for the remaining outstanding assets,” Zipmex said in a statement.
Regulators are looking to nail Zipmex
Zipmex has been in the sights of law enforcement agencies in affected countries on charges of non-compliance with local laws. Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accused the exchange and its co-founder Akalarp Yimwilai of transmitting incomplete information to the commission and doing so outside that legally allotted time frame.
“Such actions by Zipmex and Mr. Akalarp are considered to be non-compliance with the competent official’s orders, which is an offense and has a penalty under Section 75 of the Digital Assets Act,” the securities watchdog said.
To allay fears, Zipmex hosted an online town hall meeting for its English and Thai-speaking customers, with members of the legal and financial team being panelists.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, The Future of Digital Asset Exchanges & Investment
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