A Singapore-based blockchain consortium headed by an eminent South Korean plastic surgeon and start-up investor, Dr. Kim Byung Gun, has become a major stakeholder in Bithumb, one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to reports, Kim’s BK Global Consortium has sealed a deal to acquire 50 percent + 1 share of BTC Holding Company, the largest investor in Bithumb’s operator, for around $352 million. Up till now, BK Global Consortium was the fifth-largest shareholder of BTC Holding with a 75.99% stake.
The report also pointed out that the acquisition deal valued Bithumb at around $880 million.
As per Bloomberg, the transaction will be finalized in February 2019.
Dr. Kim Byung Gun’ inclination towards the crypto culture was noticed in 2017 when he established an initial coin offering (ICO) consulting firm and ICO platform in Singapore last August. The firm reportedly aims to help individual investors distinguish between scams and ‘promising project models.’
According to CoinMarketCap, Bithumb has emerged as South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange within just two years of its inception in 2016 due to the huge influx of retail investors adopting cryptocurrencies. Bithumb reported a transactional volume of $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency trading over a 24-hour period, making it the world’s second-largest crypto exchange at present.
BK Global Consortium has also reportedly decided to buy shares from 10 shareholders. The deal will be finalized on December 12 with Korean shareholders.
A representative of the consortium said, “Kim Byung-gun demonstrated his multinational management ability in the field of medical care, fintech, and blockchain in Singapore. He is the right person to pursue the systemization and globalization of the virtual currency exchange.”
Kim had earlier announced his plans to launch ‘Bithumb Dex’ through his Hong Kong subsidiary this month. This would be a decentralized exchange along the lines of offerings from Binance and Coinbase, allowing users around the world to send and receive virtual currency more easily. Kim also believes that the daunting challenge posed by hackers against crypto exchanges will presumably be solved easier on a Dex.
Additionally, BK Consortium is also contemplating on a partnership with Singaporean e-marketplace Q2 to develop a blockchain e-commerce payment system that significantly reduces virtual currency price volatility and settlement fees.
As BK forges into the cryptocurrency market, it is most likely that the company issues its own tokens in the form of fiat currency-backed cryptographic stablecoins, with details still forthcoming.