Digital Assets: Bithumb, South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange, Is On The Block

September 23, 2020 | Digital Assets, News
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The move comes after the exchange faced police raids and a lawsuit from a Thai partner.

Korean media outfit, Herald reported Tuesday that Bithumb, the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange with more than 50% market share and 4.77 million members, is up for sale. (Korea Herald)

The Herald quoted sources in the investment banking industry to say that the holding company of the exchange, Bithumb Holdings, had appointed Samjong KPMG to conduct the disposal of its stake.

Bithumb Holdings owns 74% of the exchange.

According to Cryptonews, the owners are looking to garner proceeds from the sale in the range of $ 430 million to $ 602 million.

Owners want to bail following multifarious problems

One fear may be the onset of stringent regulatory measures from March next year. This could also be a turn-off for prospective buyers.

Ownership issues also dog the exchange. It may be recalled that a previous sale transaction with BK Group ended in a payment fiasco.

The exchange has already been raided twice by the Seoul Metropolitan Police. Apparently, chairman Lee Jong-hoon is under a cloud for fraud and embezzlement charges.

Meanwhile, the complex holding structure of the entity has proved to be another sore point. Shareholders have complained over management rights.

Again, The Korea Times reported today that Bithumb is facing a lawsuit from Bithumb Thailand. It’s a joint venture Bithumb formed in Thailand in 2018 to establish a crypto exchange.

Bithumb Thailand has claimed that Bithumb Korea made only empty promises. It alleged the Korean company had no real intention of setting up and running a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand.

“As management rights disputes and legal disputes continue, we are speculating that investors are trying to recover their investments and wash their hands off through the sale,” an investment banker told the Herald.

Meanwhile, the Herald said that prospective buyers have put in a number of letters of intent for acquiring the Bithumb exchange.

Related Story:   Crypto Exchange FTX Snaps Up Portfolio Tracker Blockfolio for $150M

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