Plastic Surgeon and Startup Investor Buys $352 Million Stake in Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb
A group led by one of South Korea's leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Kim Byung Gun, has made a major investment in crypto exchange Bithumb’s holding company. Bloomberg reported the news Friday, Oct. 12.
The surgeon’s BK Global Consortium has closed a deal to acquire “50 percent plus one share” of BTC Holding Co. – the largest investor in Bithumb’s operator – for around 400 billion won ($352 million), Bloomberg reports, citing a Bithumb spokesperson. The report states that BK Global Consortium was already the “fifth-largest” shareholder of BTC Holding.
According to Bloomberg’s source, the transaction is to be finalized in February 2019.
Dr. Kim Byung Gun also established an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) analysis firm in Singapore last year, according to a Korea Joongang Daily profile published in May. The firm reportedly aims to help individual investors distinguish between scams and “promising project models,” amid the surgeon’s concern about the prevalence of Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent offerings in the space.
The profile outlines how the surgeon, who is said to have made his fortune by investing in tech and bio startups, “has caught the blockchain fever.”
Bithumb is currently the world’s second largest by reported daily traded volume according to CoinMarketCap.
Earlier this month, Cointelegraph reported that the exchange plans to open a global decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) with technical support from blockchain firm One Root Network (RNT).