- Zipmex was adversely affected by their counterparties, namely Celsius and Babel Finance
- The exchange has been raising funds to make users whole
- Moving forward, they will be focusing on developing a holistic ecosystem, and not just an exchange
The bear market has been volatile for not just retail, but institutions as well. Zipmex, a centralized exchange founded in 2018, were one of the many companies caught up in the CeFi domino effect, caused by the fall of Celsius and 3ac.
However, their transparent approach with customers and continued perseverance has helped them regain the trust of many users.
Zipmex’s Chief Marketing Officer, Proud Limpongpan, took the time to share with us how it all went down, and what their plans for the future.
Getting into Crypto and Her Journey With Zipmex
Proud first heard of crypto in 2015, found it extremely difficult to buy Bitcoin back then.
Seeing two friends start successful crypto exchanges also got her interested in making crypto more accessible for all.
“If we can make the UI a lot easier for people to come on, then maybe this can be something that can be … widely adopted”
When her friend, the Thai CEO of Zipmex, asked her to invest in the company, she took it a step further and helped build the strategy of the company.
“Our vision was a lot larger than Thailand, we wanted to be a regional company, we wanted to open in Indonesia, Singapore, and Australia.”
The rest, she says, is History.
Zipmex’s CeFi Troubles
When Luna collapsed, many crypto companies were severely impacted by both Terra’s collapse, as well as the fall of leading Crypto VC Three Arrows Capital and CeFi platform Celsius.
Unfortunately, Zipmex had exposure to Celsius, and one of their largest counterparties, Babel finance, lost over $280M in funds.
Almost immediately, they halted customer withdrawals in line with their legal counsel.
“Fast forward two months later, and we’re looking to raise money to cover this“
Instead of trying to downplay the situation, the Zipmex team has been hard at work trying to raise funds.
While Celsius has already decarded bankruptcy and Babel is working out a restructuring plan, recovering such funds may take years – or even longer.
“We’re not going to sit around and wait for people to give back the money“
The team took an active stance, and have been raising money non-stop in order to make customers whole.
Zipmex has received four MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding), and are in the process of turning one of them into a share purchase agreement.
Currently, they have “cured” 60% of their customers, and are moving to make the remaining user base whole.
How Their CeFi Troubles Changed Her Job Scope Overnight
Proud found out about the exchange halting in the middle of the night, courtesy of the flurry of alerts on her phone.
Since then, her job scope has changed, with marketing to the general public taking a back seat.
“Previously I was marketing to get people to come to the platform. Now I’m marketing to get investors to come and invest in us”
Instead of pushing for user adoption, she has had to get investors onboard, in order to ensure sufficient funds for the platform.
Furthermore, there were still active traders on the platform, which helped them assure investors that their foundations were secure.
Being transparent with investors and their customers helped them reassure those in their ecosystem, and rebound from the lows.
Going forward, while Zipmex may still offer yield products, their post-mortem signals tighter risk management system and better compliance with regulations.
Not Just an Exchange, But an Ecosystem
With the additional cash flow from their fundraising, Zipmex has hinted at pivoting their business model.
By building on their historical partnerships and events, they are trying to build out an ecosystem, with Zipmex at the centre.
During the pandemic, for example, they partnered with the largest entertainment company in Thailand to host a concert in the metaverse.
They have also hosted physical events at notable locations such as a crypto arcade event at Thailand’s Paragon shopping centre.
There, participants were able to immerse themselves into the world of crypto, helping them feel welcome in what may have otherwise been a foreign environment.
“You don’t have to love trading 24/7, you can do a lot of other things … that is more of what we intend to do, pushing the envelope on what the ecosystem can offer”
Currently, Zipmex also has an NFT platform, Zixel, and a gaming guild, which they are looking to manage in-house.
Putting Thailand on The Decentralized Map
While Zipmex operates in four countries, namely Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, and Thailand, Thailand quickly became their most successful market.
In fact, Thailand has the most NFT users per capita of any country, leading other crypto-friendly countries by a mile.
“We have a hundred corporate partners, and they are all really interested in the adoption of NFTs”
While Thailand remains relatively low-profile in terms of crypto, their user growth and adoption far exceeds many other nations worldwide.
Corporations are also adapting Web3.0 as their digital transformation strategy, a notable push in mass adoption.
“I wanted to put Thailand on the map as well, so new investors and entrepreneurs don’t overlook the country”
However, a rise in adoption should also necessitate more education for crypto users.
Despite many Zipmex users being denominated largely in Bitcoin, some were affected by the Terra Luna crash.
By helping users fully understand the risks associated with crypto, it will help Web3.0 take another step in the right direction.
If you enjoyed this, make sure to check out the full interview with Proud Limpongpan HERE.
[Editor’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice. Please do your own research before investing.]
Featured Image Credit: Chain Debrief