South Korea: Bithumb Exchange Operator Gains $200 Million From Japanese Investment Fund
The parent company of major South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has received $200 million in funding from Japan’s ST Blockchain Fund, the latter confirmed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph Japan on April 15.
The cash, which forms part of a Series A funding round, will allow Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA) to expand the international side of Bithumb, which is already one of South Korea’s largest exchanges. New trading pairs will also appear, the press release notes.
ST Blockchain Fund is based in Japan, but features participation from investors throughout the world, including Europe and the United States.
“The fund shared our vision of creating a global digital exchange platform that can efficiently transfer value across borders with lower costs, which was the key rationale behind this investment decision,” BXA stated in the press release.
The move comes in the wake of upheaval at Bithumb, which suffered losses of around $13 million late last month in what executives suggested was an insider operation to defraud the company.
The company subsequently released results of a third-party public audit, reassuring investors their funds were in suitably secure storage.
Prior to that, in 2018, a much larger hack had seen Bithumb lose what initially appeared to be around $30 million, the figure subsequently being reduced to $17 million.
As Cointelegraph reported last week, the company's annual losses for 2018 totalled almost $180 million.
ST thus removes any doubt about its faith in the local market with the investment, as increasing Bitcoin (BTC) prices spark fresh interest from South Korea consumers.
Last week, the so-called “Kimchi Premium” — a surcharge for Bitcoin in fiat terms on South Korean exchanges — reportedly reappeared after an extended absence.