Huobi, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, will shut down its exchange in Thailand permanently on July 1, it announced on its website.
This marks Huobi’s short-lived expansion into 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 US and Vietnam.
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.
Huobi launched in Thailand just a little over two years ago as the firm doubled 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.
Huobi previously held a digital asset trading license issued by Thailand’s Ministry of Finance that allows its users to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Huobi Token, and stablecoin USDT using Thai Baht.
In September, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand revoked Huobi’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 said it’s in the process of returning users’ assets but won’t be responsible for any issues regarding its Thailand arm after the platform shuts down in July.
“We are sorry our journey has come to the end, and we sincerely thank you for your long support,” Huobi Thailand wrote.