Huobi Thailand will shut down its exchange permanently on July 1, according to an announcement posted on its website.
This marks the exchange’s short-lived ambition in the Southeast Asian country where crypto adoption is flourishing. According to blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, Thailand has one of the world’s highest adoption rates of DeFi, or decentralized financial services, nestling next to the U.S. and Vietnam in the ranking.
Nonetheless, the government of Thailand has been tightening the use of crypto-based payments amid crashing crypto value. The country had eight licensed crypto exchange platforms as of February, with Bangkok-based Bitkub leading the pack.
Despite its name, Huobi Thailand has tenuous connections to Huobi, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. Huobi Thailand was created using technology provided by Huobi Cloud, Huobi’s blockchain solution provider that helps third parties without the IT capabilities set up over-the-counter exchanges and other crypto-related services.
Huobi Thailand launched just a little over two years ago as Huobi itself was doubling down on global expansion following its exit from China, where it was originally founded. China has in recent years launched a series of clampdowns on crypto trading, prompting related businesses to relocate overseas and seek foreign customers.
“As part of Huobi Group’s global expansion strategy, Huobi Cloud seeks out suitable local partners to collaborate with,” the parent company said when Huobi Thailand obtained the license to run a digital asset exchange in the country.
Huobi Thailand was granted a digital asset trading license issued by Thailand’s Ministry of Finance that allowed its users to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Huobi Token and stablecoin USDT with Thai Baht.
In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand revoked Huobi Thailand’s operating license after it found “deficiencies and insufficiency in Huobi’s management structure and work systems, causing the company to fail to operate its business in compliance with the governing regulations.”
Huobi Thailand said it’s in the process of returning users’ assets but won’t be responsible for any issues regarding the platform after the July closure.
“We are sorry our journey has come to the end, and we sincerely thank you for your long support,” Huobi Thailand wrote.
Updated the story with clarification of Huobi and Huobi Thailand’s relationship.