Exit stage left — Eqonex to close crypto exchange after two years

The firm said it would also move its principal business and several people from management from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom.

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Nasdaq-listed digital asset investment firm Eqonex has announced it will be exiting the “crowded crypto exchange space” by shuttering part of its operations.

In a Monday announcement, Eqonex said it will close trading on its crypto exchange on Aug. 22, while users will be allowed to withdraw funds until Sept. 14. The firm said the closure was part of an effort to streamline operations that focused on offering “the most potential for revenue growth and long-term financial sustainability,” which included its asset management and custody services at Digivault.

“Closing the exchange will significantly simplify our business, narrow our focus, free up resources, and allow us to operate as a more efficient organization with capacity to aggressively go after market segments that offer the most potential,” said Eqonex CEO Jonathan Farnell. “We take a realistic view that our exchange will not move the needle for us financially over the near-to-medium term. We don’t see value in continuing to bear the costs of operating an exchange during what may be a prolonged market downturn.”

The exchange said its EQO token “will cease trading with immediate effect” as part of the shift in strategy. Eqonex added it would move its principal business and several people from management from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom, where many of Digivault’s operations were based.

Launched in May 2020, Eqonex has undergone a few changes in leadership, from Richard Byworth overseeing the start of the exchange during his time as CEO from 2018 to 2021 to interim CEO Andrew Eldon starting in December 2021. Farnell took over operations at the firm in March, having experience working at Binance and eToro.

Related: Bitcoin dated futures with physical settlement go live on Eqonex

In December 2021, the board of directors at Eqonex said they had discussed the possibility of “merger or takeover options” prior to much of the extreme volatility and market downturn in May. In March, Binance’s payment affiliate Bifinity said it would provide a $36 million convertible loan to Eqonex in an effort to expand the firm's products, with a focus on digital custody services at Digivault.

At the time of publication, shares of Eqonex were trading at $0.79, having fallen roughly 1.75% in the last 24 hours.

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