Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX in Talks to Buy S. Korean Exchange Bithumb

2022/07/25By: L, Laura

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX is reportedly in talks to acquire Bithumb, one of South Korea’s top five crypto exchanges.

 

This crypto winter has seen a proliferation of rumors about FTX bailing out or acquiring struggling crypto companies — and now South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is said to be on FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s acquiring list.

 

According to a report from Bloomberg, FTX is in late-stage talks to potentially buy Bithumb, which has over 8 million registered users. The conversations have reportedly been in progress for “several months.”

 

When asked to confirm or deny the report, an FTX representative stated “no comment.” Bithumb has not yet responded to the request for comment, either.

 

Despite seeing over $1 trillion in total volume traded on its exchange, Bithumb has struggled on and off over the years. Back in 2020, Bithumb faced a number of lawsuits and Huobi was reportedly looking to acquire it, but never did.

 

Last month, FTX acquired the Canadian crypto exchange Bitvo. In a statement, Bankman-Fried said the purchase was made “to expand FTX’s global reach.”

 

“Our expansion into Canada is another step in proactively working with cryptocurrency regulators in different geographies across the globe,” Bankman-Fried added.

 

FTX is also in the process of buying troubled lender BlockFi in a $680 million credit and acquisition deal.

 

And in June, rumors swirled that FTX was also in talks to acquire trading platform Robinhood, who laid off 9% of its staff back in April due to slowed growth.  Bankman-Fried has since denied the reports.

 

That said, it makes sense that FTX may be looking to acquire crypto companies at a discount during this bear market. Bankman-Fried said earlier this month that FTX still has “a few billion” that could be deployed to stabilize other crypto companies. In theory, those funds could also be used to outright buy them.

 

While it’s unclear whether Bankman-Fried’s exchange will actually buy Bithumb, FTX is clearly working to fulfill what it sees as its “responsibility” to stabilize the entire crypto industry in this time of turmoil.

 

After Celsius Network and Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, startled retail investors have been unable to access or withdraw their funds.

 

In response, Sam Bankman-Fried said Friday that he is “happy to do what we can” to help out Voyager’s customers by offering liquidity to the bankrupt company.

 

Read more:

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