The South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb is still up for sale, but its value has reportedly fallen along with the crypto market price slump.
Per the financial media outlet Maeil Kyungjae, potential buyers are still interested in the trading platform, but its worth – according to market experts – has tumbled as bitcoin (BTC)’s value has slid from well over USD 60,000 to just over USD 33,000 at the time of writing.
Just two months ago financial and investment banking experts estimated that the trading platform, one of the nation’s two biggest and the market leader until very recently, was worth up to USD 2.6bn. Experts now say the platform is worth a maximum of under half that amount, and that its unlisted shares are worth around USD 250 apiece. Back in April, those same shares were worth an estimated USD 620 each. That means the platform is now worth around USD 1.14bn.
The calculations were made on the basis of a block sale from the Japanese firm SBI Investment, which offloaded a USD 897,000 stake to the Hong Kong-based private equity fund (PEF) Samo Fund.
A vast number of companies, ranging from domestic gaming firms to the country’s internet giants and even foreign players, have reportedly expressed an interest in buying the firm, but a deal has not been forthcoming. Many have denied links to a possible purchase. However, the media outlet claims that interest in the platform remains “strong.”
The platform’s biggest shareholder and chairman, Lee Jung-hoon, is keen to sell, and has been the subject of a police investigation into a failed and allegedly fraudulent token listing in 2018.
Banking experts have claimed that Lee’s connection to the platform could prove fatal to its chances of obtaining an operating permit when regulations come into force in September this year. Banks will run background checks on executives – and could refuse licenses should they believe key decision-makers have a history of involvement in fraud probes.