Major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange sells nearly 40% of its shares

Bithumb looks to bounce back from a tricky year, by raising some $350m through selling a large stake in itself…

A sizeable deal has been put together in South Korea, centring on the cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb.

Bithumb is one of the area’s most prominent exchanges, and it’s been revealed that at the end of last week, it entered into a deal to sell the best part of 40% of itself to a new investor.

With a reported price tag that equates to around $350m, it’s about 38% of shares in total that have been sold to the BK Global Consortium. The consortium itself has its foundations in plastic surgery of all things, given that it’s the blockchain element of BK Global. BK Global is a medical organisation based in Singapore that specialises in such surgery.

It’s playing coy thus far as to why it’s made the investment, but it certainly helps put Bithumb on far more stable ground. Earlier this year it made headlines for the wrong reasons, when it was subject to a digital theft of around £24m of cryptocurrency (it immediately confirmed it was planning to recompense its customers, but that’s a sizeable hit to cover). Our full story from the time is here.

As a consequence of the fresh investment, Bithumb now finds itself in a position to recover some of the ground and confidence that it’s lost over the past few months.

It should also clear up ongoing confusion over Bithumb’s ownership, and make things a little clearer for authorities overseeing the sector too.