An accounting firm has confirmed that Bithumb, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, is up for sale.
As recently reported, the troubled Bithumb Holdings, which owns more than 70% of the exchange is actively looking for a buyer. The accounting firm Samjong KPMG, a joint venture that includes the Dutch giant KPMG, one of the global "big four" said:
"It is true that Samjong KPMG is serving as M&A advisor for Bithumb."
The company declined to comment further.
Investment banking sources have also told the South Korean media that "several" companies have already submitted "letters of intent" when the search for a buyer begins in earnest. A price between USD 430 million and USD 602 million has been mentioned.
South Korean blockchain consultancy Mira Kim said:
“Bithumb is the jewel in the crown of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, perhaps even of all Asian exchanges. In 2018, a deal was agreed to buy 50% of the company for $ 350 million, so I think it is completely realistic for a company to agree to pay more than that now for an even larger stake in the company, if that's what. what's going on. offer. The interest of the big national companies is real, they make me believe, they have been awakened, but the regulatory problems could be unpleasant ”.
The cryptocurrency industry hopes that the introduction of the first specific cryptocurrency legislation next year will provide legitimacy for domestic exchanges. South Korean mega-companies like Hyundai and Kakao They have also revealed plans to create what sounds like de facto cryptocurrency exchanges, while smartphones Samsung they now have "blockchain wallets" capable of storing crypto assets.
International players may also seek to enter the lucrative South Korean market, with industry experts last year speculating that an American or Chinese buyer could emerge to take over Bithumb, following the collapse of the 2018 deal.
Meanwhile, Business Post has reported that Bithumb has started offering a cryptocurrency custody service to corporate clients.
The service is called Bithumb Custody and it will go live on September 25 for “big” national firms. The exchange said it will offer a range of multi-signature and key management features to help strengthen security and ensure compliance protocols against money laundering and know your customer (KYC) are adhered to.