Singapore-based BK Global Consortium has paid 400 billion won (approximately $350 million) for a majority stake in South Korean Bithumb, the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, according to a local news outlet.
BK Global Consortium is a blockchain investment firm under BK Global, a Singapore plastic surgery medical group owned by Kim Byung-Gun. The Consortium had held a minority position in Bithumb for a while and was the exchange's fifth largest shareholder until today's announcement.
The new deal will see the consortium acquire a “50 percent plus one share” of the holdings of Bithumb's largest investors, BTC Holdings Company. The move, once finalized, would give the Consortium a controlling stake and make Kim the largest shareholder of Bithumb.
Bithumb is presently the largest digital asset platform in South Korea by trading volume. South Korea emerged as one of the hottest spots of the crypto market last year. Investors were so crypto-hungry that they had to pay a premium on every digital currency they purchased compared to investors in other parts of the world.
The Consortium, under the leadership of Kim, has plans to create a stablecoin for the exchange in the near future, according to the news outlet. There are also plans to launch a global decentralized crypto exchange (DEX) in partnership with blockchain firm One Root Network and a blockchain e-commerce payment system with the aim of reducing "virtual currency price volatility and settlement fees."
Kim is increasing his stake in a cryptocurrency market that he is massively optimistic about. He founded an initial coin offering (ICO) consulting firm called ICO Platform in Singapore earlier this year, and he is also known as an early cryptocurrency investor.
This news comes on the heels of an announcement by the exchange's shareholders who revealed the platform's earnings, showing net profits of 39.34 billion won (about $35 million) in the first half of the year, despite a rocky June where the exchange lost $40 million to hackers.