Korean Cryptocurrency Exchange Bithumb Sold to BK Global Consortium

Bithumb Sold to BK Global Consortium

Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has been bought by BK Global Consortium which is based in Singapore for a little over $350 million.  This might be considered a great buy since in early 2018 Bithumb was valued at over $850 million.  BK Global Consortium looks to grow Bithumb through their blockchain e-commerce settlement system and stable coin operation.  This will lower commissions on the existing settlement system.

The largest shareholder before this acquisition was BTC Korea Holdings.  BK Global Consortium was able to buy shares from not only BTC Korea Holdings but from 10 other shareholders.  The deal will be completed in December.

Who is Kim Byung-gun?

Kim Byung-gun, who was originally the 5th largest shareholder, will become the largest Korean shareholder through this deal.  Kim Byung-gun the chairman for BK Group has many years of experience in medical care (Plastic Surgery), Fintech, and blockchain space in Singapore.  He will lead the way to bring Bithumb to the global market.

Bithumb DEX

Kim has already said that he will look to create Bithumb DEX a decentralized exchange.  The timeline seems to be sooner than Binance and their plans to launch their own decentralized exchange.  Bithumb DEX will enable users around the world to send and receive virtual currency easier.  The DEX will launch through their partner OneRoot who will provide their Ethereum-based R1 transaction protocol for order matching and liquidity.

OneRoot is a Chinese company that specializes traffic sharing and a win-win ecosystem via a profit-sharing mechanism of the platform.

We are seeing many exchanges looking into DEX because of the dangers of hackers.  A little over a month ago Bithumb’s shareholders revealed the crypto exchange’s financial numbers, showing it made net profits of about $35 million in the first half of 2018.  This is despite getting hacked for 40 million in June.

DEX’s offer the same trustless benefits as crypto-assets, along with security and privacy.  However, their main issue is in regards to liquidity.  Other issues include unfriendly user UI/UX and the inability to accommodate fiat currency.

Many leaders in the crypto exchange space feel DEX’s are the future, it will just be a matter of “when” not “if”.

Disrupting the E-Commerce Industry

This could be a game changer for the e-commerce industry and really disrupt large conglomerates like Amazon, Alibaba, and in Korea such as Coupang and G Market as they charge large commission fees.  Blockchain payment systems could greatly lower commission fees for customers.  This would create a clear competitive advantage over the large e-commerce giants.

Merchants are also excited about the prospect of decentralized e-commerce platforms.  Large fees from current e-commerce platforms not only hurt the merchants but the customers as well.  However, the worst part could be the fact that the data collected is not shared with the merchants.  Data that can be used to create strategies for future growth.

Decentralized e-commerce platforms will allow merchants to see their traffic and provide both the sellers and the buyers the chance to get incentives for boosting the number of people they reach.  This will bring about a new form of marketing and getting new customers that the old ways of clickbait ads and displays.

BK Global Consortium is also looking to create a stable coin to stabilize the payment system.

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Foresting.io. Email = john@startupradar.asia if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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