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Police Reportedly Raid Headquarters of Bithumb, South Korea's Largest Exchange

Crypto exchange Bithumb has reportedly been seized by police in Seoul on allegations that its chairman engaged in investment fraud.

Sep 2, 2020 at 10:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:51 a.m. UTC

South Korean authorities have reportedly seized Bithumb, one of the country's biggest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume.

  • The Seoul Newspaper reported Wednesday that officers from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's Intelligent Crime Investigation Unit had raided Bithumb's headquarters, located in the capital's central Gangnam District.
  • The police action was apparently linked to a $25 million token sale hosted on Bithumb and a proposed acquisition by a Singapore platform, BTHMB, that never materialized.
  • Per a report from TheNews.Asia, some investors said they lost millions participating in the sale.
  • Bithumb's chairman, Lee Jung-hoon, has been accused of fraud and illicitly sending funds overseas.
  • CoinDesk has approached Bithumb for confirmation.
  • This is the second raid on a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange in a week.
  • Last week, police seized Coinbit – the country's third-largest exchange – on allegations it had faked most of its trading volumes.
  • Bithumb is one of South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchanges – 24-hour trading volume stood at over $365 million, according to CoinGecko.
  • The exchange appeared to still be active at press time.

EDIT (Sept, 3: 07:45): A previous version of this article referred to "TheNews.Asia" as "TheNews," this has since been corrected.

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