Bitcoin Exchange Bithumb $350 Million Acquisition Deal Not Happening


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The acquisition of South Korean bitcoin exchange Bithumb by BK Consortium has been scrapped.

Bitcoin Exchange Bithumb Sale Hits Rocks Over Missed Payment Deadlines

South Korean media outlet Hanguk Kyungjae says the proposed acquisition of Bitcoin Exchange Bithumb by BK Consortium may no longer go through.

Reports indicate that the Singaporean entity led by a plastic surgeon and crypto investor Kim Byung-gun failed to honor agreed-upon payment schedules.

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Back in October 2018, Bitcoinist reported that BK Consortium was looking to acquire a controlling stake in the bitcoin exchange. At the time, BK planned to buy a controlling stake in Bithumb in a deal worth over $350 million.

BK had already released $100 million back when the deal came to light with the remainder to be paid at a later date. Now, reports say BK Consortium does not have the funds to complete the payment.

The Singaporean investment company reportedly sought an extension in the payment deadline earlier in the year. This move came after the company had missed several deadlines.

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As part of the payment deferment request, BK offered to up its share purchase from 51% to 76%. However, BTC Holding Company — Bithumb’s payment company, may be unwilling to agree to these terms amid doubts over BK’s financial health.

Rough 12 Months for South Korean Bitcoin Exchanges

Bithumb continues to endure a rough patch stretching almost 12 months. The South Korean bitcoin exchange giant has suffered a couple of hacks, losing close to $45 million in the process.

The exchange’s struggles mirror those of other platforms in South Korea even the major ones. Three out of the “big four” bitcoin exchanges in the country, including Bithumb, suffered losses in 2018.

Bithumb’s 2018 losses at $180 million surpassed those of Coinone and Korbit put together. Exchanges in the country are also facing increased regulatory scrutiny.

As previously reported, South Korean blockchain startups are electing to list their projects on overseas exchanges. This trend has led to many platforms facing the looming threat of bankruptcy as the trading market continues to shrink.

Bithumb for its part says the deal being scrapped will not affect its operations as normal business service continues. Earlier in 2019, the exchange announced that it was looking into being publicly listed in the United States.

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