South Korean Exchange Bithumb Sells To Singapore Investor For $353 Million
Bithumb, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has sold to a Singapore entity with the aim of releasing new services and stablecoins.
Officials Finalize Majority Stake Deal
As Korean news outlet Naver reports October 12, BK Global Consortium paid 400 million won ($353 million) for a majority stake in Bithumb, having previously held a minority position in the company.
Under the new deal, which officials hope to finalize in the coming month, BK’s leader, plastic surgeon and investor Kim Byung-gun, will go from the exchange’s fifth-largest to the main shareholder.
Previously, the majority stake was held by BTC Korea Holdings, the equity changing hands for a conspicuously lower sum than appeared in a February evaluation of around $880 million, The News Asia notes.
“Kim, who demonstrated his multinational management ability in the field of medical care, has invested in fintech [and] blockchain… companies in Singapore,” Naver quotes a Bithumb representative as commenting about the sale. “He is the right person to pursue the systemization and globalization of the virtual currency exchange.”
Stablecoins Coming To Bithumb
Kim’s current known plans include the creation of Bithumb DEX, a decentralized exchange platform along the lines of offerings from Binance and Coinbase.
In addition, BK is eyeing a “blockchain e-commerce payment system that significantly reduces virtual currency price volatility and settlement fees” in partnership with Singaporean e-marketplace Q2.
The future will also see the issuance of the company’s own tokens in the form of fiat currency-backed cryptographic stablecoins, with details still forthcoming.
Bithumb had faced a testing period during 2018, with a $17 million hack and accompanying rumors following trading suspicions leading the exchange to temporarily disappear from listings of resources such as Coinmarketcap.
Bithumb was forced to suspend account registrations for most of August after failing to smooth over problems with its banking partner.
Earlier this year, ailing Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which lost a giant $530 million in its own hack in January, came under the wing of online broker Monex for the nominal sum of $33 million.
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