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The largest Bitcoin exchange in South Korea Bithumb is up for sale

Photo of: Dennis Ramos
by Dennis Ramos

Bithumb, considered to be the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea is considered to have a high word of say in the crypto industry there. It has more than 4.77 million users and controls more than 50% of the domestic trading Volume. Bithumb has been a key river of encouraging and accelerating cryptocurrency in the country.

But, such a huge name in the industry both internationally and locally, yet Bithumb at present stands up for sale to the highest bidder according to the famous South Korean news generator Herald. Astonished? But there are some grave concerns surrounding its alleged sale. Let’s have a look at it. The news report in its elaborated feature explained that Bithumb holdings is now looking at selling its 74% stake in the Korean markets. The offers are already pouring in, with amounts from $430 million to $604 million already in the offering. The names of the bidders and interest parties have not been disclosed. 

The Seoul Metropolitan Police claims that it is investigating the chairman Lee Jung Hoon because he has reportedly incurred premeditated investor loss to the tune of $25 million. He also has been accused of escaping property responsibilities. The exchange was also raided two times this month.

The accusations against the exchange, the raids and the hitherto under the radar activities of Bithumb have created several doubts in the minds of the investors. To top it all, Buthumb selling is a herculean task that needs to be completed.  KPMG Korean branch called Samjong KPMG is in charge of the sales and its proceedings. It will also outline all the compliance matters and local laws and make sure they are getting enforced. 

Whoever the buyer is, the entity will be responsible to implement the revised bill of the Special Payments Acr beginning from March next year. The revised bill will mark the foundation and requirements of the necessary operational procedures, licenses for digital asset service providers, and also ensure compliance with the recommendation of FATF.

The local news outlet also has tried to report what the South Korean investment banking industry thinks about it. Being constantly under the radar helped the authorities understand what the exchange was up to. And they believe that the sale of Bithumb holdings will be a great attempt to cool off the worries of the investors about the entire brouhaha of legal and managerial altercations. The sale will help them to recover their own funds and they can easily exit the market undamaged and safe. 

Earlier in 2018, Bithumb was under sale. It had put up a price of $345 million for the deal which was again great considering it was two years ago. The noted investor BK Global Consortium was considered the expected party to purchase the exchange for that price, but the sale did not go as expected. The investor failed to come uop with the entire amount and the deal was scrapped. But the reasons for sale then and now, have been different. This time it has become a need at least from the investor’s perspective.