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The Thai cryptocurrency market was expected to grow big as the government passed supportive regulations for the market last year. However, earlier this month, the largest Thai crypto exchange announced that it had decided to shut down on September 2.
Bitcoin Co leaves a void
Bitcoin Co is the largest crypto exchange in Thailand said that it would cease its exchange operations at the end of September. It said that it wants “to focus on other business opportunities.” After the announcement, all coins traded on the exchange experienced a slump in prices. Bitcoin prices fell to 199,999 baht per coin in the trading sessions while some of the other cryptocurrencies registered a slump of as much as 60%. This was the result of panic selling by the users, even though they had time to withdraw funds.
The exchange said on its website,
“The company will not seek to hold a Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] license for digital asset exchanges for 2020, and we ask all customers to withdraw their funds before Nov 1, 2019.”
It also said that the bx.in.th website would be operational even after the exchange shuts down, but it can only be used by customers who have to settle outstanding issues with the company. While withdrawals will be available till the end of the month, new deposits were halted on September 6.
Why did the exchange shut down?
There is a lot of speculation about the real reason why Bitcoin Co shut down. However, there is no clear explanation of why they decided to terminate their exchange as short notice. The company’s founder and CEO David Barnes have not made any public comments about the company yet. With the lack of internal sources to confirm what went wrong, we can only depend on external explanations.
Bitcoin Co could be the victim of market saturation and a year-long crypto winter. Established in 2013, the company operated bx.in.th as a cryptocurrency exchange. It was the pioneer of digital currency exchanges in Thailand. Over the years, as the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin increased, which led Bitcoin Co to become more popular. When Bitcoin was rushing towards its all-time highs, the company processes transactions worth 1.5 million baht.
Not only this, when the Royal Decree for digital assets was enforced in May last year, it was one of the first three companies receiving authorization from the Thai Finance Ministry. Its shut down, therefore, is a shocker to the entire crypto industry.