Singapore Consortium Gains Stake in Korea’s Biggest Bitcoin Exchange


South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, Bithumb, has seen a  Singapore-based blockchain consortium become its majority owner in a $350 million deal.

BTC Holdings Company, which was Bithumb’s biggest stakeholder until Thursday with a 75.99% stake finalized an agreement to sell 50 percent plus one stake for 400 billion won (approx. $352 million) with BK Global, a Singaporean consortium, Korean publication Yonhap reported on Friday.

Launched in June 2016, Bithumb soon emerged as South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges as retail investors took to adopting cryptocurrencies in the following years. According to data from CoinMarketCap, Bithumb reported a transactional volume of $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency trading over a 24-hour period, making it the world’s second-largest crypto exchange at the present time.

BK Global, a Singaporean medical group that runs plastic and aesthetic clinics in South Korea and Singapore, is now the majority owner and largest stakeholder of Bithumb.

The Singaporean consortium is led by Kim Byung-gun, Reuters reports, a plastic surgeon and blockchain platform who signed off on the deal yesterday. The report also indicates that Kim is a prolific investor in the blockchain industry with a specific focus on early-stage companies and startups in the sector.

Bithumb’s acquisition comes after a tumultuous year for the exchange wherein, despite reported net profits of over $30 million in H1 2018, the exchange suspended user deposits and withdrawals in June following a $30 million theft of cryptocurrencies by hackers in June.

Bithumb has also announced expansion to new markets in Japan and Thailand, in addition to an upcoming launch of a decentralized exchange for the global market.

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