South Korean news outlet Daily Economy reported today that 38 percent of cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb’s ownership shares worth 400 billion won ($353 million) will be sold to the BK Global Consortium, which is a blockchain investment company established by BK Global, a Singapore-based medical surgery group.
BTC Korea Holdings, which owns a 76% majority stake in Bithumb’s equity, has reportedly signed an agreement to sell 50 percent plus one share of its ownership to BK Global. When the deal is finalized, BK Group will become Bithumb’s largest shareholder.
BK Global Consortium has reportedly developed a blockchain-based e-commerce settlement platform and a stablecoin in order to help lower commission charged on transactions. Presumably, the BK Group may now be looking to use Bithumb’s crypto asset exchange services to further expand or improve its existing operations.
Stablecoin, Eliminating Intermediaries
A BK Global Consortium representative said:
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 [a] stablecoin 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.
According to reports, the Seoul-based digital asset exchange is valued at 1 trillion won ($880 million) - although the consortium has valued it significantly higher at over $1.8 billion. Kim Byung Gun, the director and founder of BK Group, will have the majority ownership stake in Bithumb’s equity after the transaction is complete.
Byung Gun is also the managing director of the ICO Platform Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based initial coin offering (ICO) investment advisory firm. Korean news outlets have reported that Byung Gun’s blockchain-related consortium will be buying shares from 10 different Bithumb shareholders and the deal is scheduled to be finalized on December 12th.
Decentralized Exchange (DEX), Still Profitable After Hack
Commenting on Bithumb’s expansion plans, Byung Gun said the crypto trading platform may soon launch its own decentralized exchange (DEX) via his company’s subsidiary in Hong Kong. One of the main goals of the DEX will be to make Bithumb’s services more accessible to users throughout the world while also providing a greater level of security.
As CryptoGlobe reported on August 4th, Bithumb had reopened withdrawals and deposits after recovering from a hack in June - which resulted in the exchange losing an estimated $40 million. Despite the damaging security breach, the South Korean crypto exchange still managed to earn profits of approximately $35 million during the first half of 2018.