Blockchain Services Firm Eqonex Closes Crypto Exchange, Citing Volatility and Dwindling Volume

by Aaryamann Shrivastava
7 ways to make with crypto

Blockchain Services Firm Eqonex Closes Crypto Exchange, Citing Volatility and Dwindling Volume

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

Eqonex Ltd. (EQOS), a Nasdaq-listed financial services firm, will close its crypto exchange, according to an announcement on the company’s website on Monday.

The exchange, which started in 2020, will stop trading at 08:00 AM UTC on Aug. 22, and customers will have until Sept. 14 to withdraw their funds.

The closure will “improve the company’s financial position” and allow Eqonex to focus on its asset-management business and custody business, Digivault, which last year became the first crypto custodian to gain regulatory approval from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

“As a young and maturing financial-services business, our resource allocation needed to change to reflect the current market conditions and the opportunities that we are best placed to capture,” Eqonex CEO Jonathan Farnell told CoinDesk via email. “We are exiting underperforming businesses that no longer fit within our future strategy to focus on areas that will accelerate our growth.”

In the statement, he noted that “the recent extreme market volatility and declining trading volumes have added to the headwinds being felt by exchange operators.”

Farnell was appointed as CEO in March after a stint as head of the U.K. operations of crypto exchange Binance.

In March, Binance-owned payments provider Bitfinity agreed to provide a $36 million loan to Eqonex that can be converted into equity.

Eqonex’s exchange is one of the many crypto businesses that have succumbed to market pressures this year. Rival exchange Zipmex was forced to halt withdrawals after a $48 million loan to Babel Finance soured, and crypto lenders Celsius Network and Voyager Digital have both filed for bankruptcy.

Shares of Eqonex were recently down 3 cents at 77 cents.

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