Cryptocurrency: Bahamas’ FTX crypto exchange may acquire Bithumb: Report
FTX is a Bahamian cryptocurrency exchange that is incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda, and it may be acquiring the South Korean crypto company, Bithumb, according to reports. The Bahamas-headquartered firm is said to be seeking to buy it, but experts in the field expressed varying views on the matter.
As per The Korea Herald, while some Korean blockchain experts think there is a big possibility for the sale, others are skeptical if FTX is really interested in buying it. They said that Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire who co-founded FTX, has no reason to acquire Bithumb at this time, especially when the financial authorities are tightening the regulations in Korea.
“For the moment, there is no reason for FTX to enter the Korean crypto market with the financial authorities tightening the regulations and prosecutors widening their investigation into crypto exchanges,” Korea Insitute of Finance’s researcher, Lee Tai Ki, told The Korea Herald.
He added, “South Korea is in the process of adopting the Digital Assets Basic Act and overall adopting stricter regulations. Foreign crypto businesses can profit off of a market with more relaxed regulations, and that is not the case with Korea for now.”
It was also noted that the country’s new president, Yoon Suk Yeol, is pushing for a new regulatory framework to bolster the protection for investors as well as allow more banks to team up with cryptocurrency exchange platforms for verification of users. Moreover, Lee said that Bithumb’s financial condition right now is stable, so the company sale may not be in the cards.
Then again, a director at Dongguk University’s Blockchain Research Center, Park Sung Jun, said that Bithumb’s robust performance may have actually attracted FTX to it, so it is possible there is an acquisition deal, and if pushed through, it may work in favor of the crypto market in Korea.
“If FTX and Bithumb are in advanced talks like the Bloomberg report says, it is likely that the Korean exchange has something to offer and is seeking to go global,” the director stated. “It will likely be a win-win situation for both exchanges.”
Meanwhile, The Korea Times reported that reports of FTX's possible acquisition of Bithumb have received a positive response as it boosted crypto stocks. Bithumb’s largest shareholder, Vidente’s shares, surged by about 30% on Monday, July 25.
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