Sam Bankman-Fried, the creator of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, intends to buy the South Korean-based crypto exchange Bithumb.
CNBC reported on July 26 that the transaction was confirmed by Vidente, the owner of Bithumb, who highlighted that discussions about a prospective sale had previously occurred.
If the purchase materialises, FTX is contemplating several possibilities, such as a complete takeover of Bithumb or shared control of the exchange.
Moreover, the partnership would likely grow Bithumb’s influence in Asia, given that it has previously struck multiple deals in the area; Bithumb is already one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia.
Opposition to FTX’s South Korean entrance
The potential acquisition of Bithumb by FTX coincides with tightening cryptocurrency rules in South Korea. Notable financial leaders in the nation have resisted FTX’s most recent effort to join the area.
Lee Tai-ki, a researcher at the Korea Institute of Finance, said, “Currently, there is no reason for FTX to join the Korean crypto market given that financial authorities are tightening laws and prosecutors are expanding their probe into crypto exchanges.”
Recent government raids on critical South Korean crypto exchanges as part of a broadening probe into the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem disaster revealed the country’s control of the crypto industry.
Bankman-desire Fried’s to save cryptocurrency firms
Notably, most enterprises have struggled to maintain operations due to the faster collapse of the cryptocurrency market. Therefore, Bankman-Fried has indicated an interest in rescuing many companies attempting to navigate the turbulent seas.
Since then, FTX has secured high-profile acquisition transactions, including the option to acquire BlockFi for a maximum of $240 million. The figure is far less than the company’s prior worth of $4.8 billion.
FTX has also secured an agreement to buy the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid. As a result of the broader market collapse, several firms have filed for bankruptcy, including lending platforms Celsius and Voyager Digital. Interestingly, Bankman-Fried granted Voyager Digital a loan via his company, Alameda Research.