Huobi, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, will permanently close its exchange in Thailand on July 1, it announced on its website.
This marks Huobi’s short-lived expansion into the Southeast Asian country where crypto adoption is thriving. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, Thailand has one of the world’s highest adoption rates of DeFi, or decentralized financial services, nestled alongside the US and Vietnam.
Nevertheless, the government of Thailand has tightened the use of crypto-based payments amid a crashing crypto value. The country had eight licensed crypto exchange platforms in February, with Bangkok-based Bitkub in the lead.
Huobi was launched in Thailand just over two years ago as the company doubled its global expansion after moving out of China, where it was originally founded. China has taken a series of measures against cryptocurrency trading in recent years, prompting related companies to move abroad and seek foreign customers.
Huobi previously held a digital asset trading license issued by the Thai Ministry of Finance that allows users to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Huobi Token and stablecoin USDT using Thai Baht.
In September, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission revoked Huobi’s operating license after it found “deficiencies and insufficiency in Huobi’s management structure and work systems, which prevented the company from conducting its business in accordance with applicable regulations.”
Huobi said it is in the process of returning users’ assets but is not responsible for any issues with its Thailand branch after the platform closed in July.
“We are sorry that our journey has come to an end and we sincerely thank you for your long-term support,” Huobi Thailand wrote.