South Korea’s Bithumb Crypto Exchange Sold to Singapore Based BK Global for $353 Million


News coming out of the local media in South Korea indicate the sale of Bithumb to BK Global Consortium. Bithumb is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the market, while BK Global is a Singapore-based firm.


Details of the Sale

According to Yonhap News Agency, BK Global has acquired Bithumb – the largest cryptocurrency exchange service in South Korea. Sources claim the Singapore-based firm bought a 50 percent stake plus one share from BTC Korea, the platform’s largest shareholder.

Before the sale, BTC Korea owned more than 75 percent of Bithumb’s shares. BK Global reportedly acquired the 51 percent stake for about 400 billion won ($353 million). Once the deal is finalized, Kim Byung-gun, noted plastic surgeon and BK chief, becomes the exchange’s largest shareholder.

Commenting on the development, a BK representative, speaking to The Asia News, said:

Kim Byung-gun demonstrated his multinational management ability in the field of medical care, fintech, and blockchain in Singapore. He is the right person to pursue the systemization and globalization of the virtual currency exchange.

According to reports, Kim plans to establish a Bithumb decentralized exchange (DEX) via a Hong Kong subsidiary later in October. Kim believes such a move would not only improve the ease of trading cryptocurrency but would also help to combat the activities of hackers.

Moving forward, BK Global believes that the Bithumb acquisition plays into its drive for a robust blockchain-based e-commerce settlement system. According to a company official:

E-commerce companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are receiving large commission fees, which have become an issue for consumers. Blockchain payment systems can reduce those commission fees. We will also promote the introduction of stable coin to stabilize the payment system. We will be in conjunction with the global exchange scheme to take advantage of the coin linked to the US dollar.

South Korea

Bithumb 2018 Performance

Bithumb was one of the South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange platforms to suffer a hack in 2018. Less than a fortnight after the Coinrail hack, the South Korean exchange behemoth reported a $32 million hack. Not long after, the platform announced the recovery of almost 50 percent of the cryptocurrencies stolen during the attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, the platform suspended deposits, withdrawals, and new account openings. Issues between Bithumb and its banking partner in August meant that the platform couldn’t reopen account registrations

Despite the hack, the platform reported a semi-annual profit of $35 million. Also, during the acquisition process, BK reportedly valued the platform at $1.8 billion, which is significantly higher than the $1 billion valuations of the exchange in the market.

What do you think about the sale of Bithumb to BK Global Consortium? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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