Regulator suspends licence of FTX’s Australian unit until mid-May

The Australian securities regulator has suspended the licence of the local arm of FTX until mid-May next year, it said on Wednesday, adding to the woes of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange as it faces intense global regulatory scrutiny.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) in a statement said FTX Australia’s financial services licence will be suspended until mid-May next year, taking back its permit to deal in derivative and foreign exchange contracts to retail and wholesale clients, along with provide general advice.

The Bahamas-headquartered FTX, once a rising star of the crypto industry with a $32 billion valuation as of January, filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection last week as it struggled to stave off collapse following a rush by traders to withdraw $6 billion from the platform in just 72 hours.

Local units of FTX around the world face heightened regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission along with other regulatory bodies are investigating FTX, while its unit in Japan would go into “close only” mode following guidance from the country’s financial services agency, among others.

“ASIC is monitoring this situation closely and speaking regularly with international regulators and the external administrators,” the regulator said on Wednesday.

It added FTX Australia could continue to provide limited financial services for terminating existing derivatives with clients until Dec. 19.

FTX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.