- Bithumb’s “domestic assets” have reportedly been banned in Shanghai.
- Bithumb has stated that their work is “continuing steadily without pause.”
Bithumb, the cryptocurrency exchange based in South Korea, was recently the subject of a media frenzy, due to reports that their Shanghai enterprise has been negatively impacted. The city government had issued an inspection notice, leading Chinese news outlet ifeng.com to report that the employees of this office were sent on a “long vacation” with no news of when they would be coming back.
The administrative offices for the district of Shanghai were ordered by the People’s Bank of China and the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau in the city to investigate crypto-related activities. Their order stated that completion of the inspection was due by November 22nd. After the investigations, the firms were supposed to report to the PBoC and the regulatory bureau, followed by a subsequent shutdown. The Ifeng.com report stated that the “official website [for Bithumb] shows that domestic access has been banned”
“We have one of our blockchain technology research and development teams based in Shanghai, and the projects are continuing steadily without pause.”
“These reports are untrue.”
Javier Sim, the co-founder and managing director of Bithumb Global, also spoke with The Block, commenting,
“Bithumb Global attempts to bring all crypto communities together on one simple and decentralized platform. Unity is the key to the development and prosperity of the industry.”
Presently, the exchange is presently working to release Bithumb Chain. Bithumb Chain is Bithumb’s new native blockchain network, and it is planned for launch towards the beginning of next year. Sim stated,
“Bithumb Chain powers the products, services, and infrastructure within the Bithumb Family ecosystem which helps capture value from both upstream and downstream of the trading business.”
Other reports indicate that the sale that Bithumb arranged for a controlling stake in the company could be unraveling. Last October, the parent company of Bithumb, BTC Korea, stated that they were willing to sell a 50% stake, which was being sold for around $333 million. The stake was meant to be an exchange to BK Global Consortium, the investment firm founded in blockchain technology by BK Global. BK Global is a medical group in Singapore which specializes in plastic surgery.
There has apparently only been a down payment to BTC Korea Holdings, valued at $100 million, but the contracts haven't been finalized. So far, the spokesperson for Bithumb had declined to make any other comments.
The cryptocurrency industry is mostly unregulated, but each country has specific policies regarding its local operation. After a recent inspection, Bithumb is reportedly not permitted to operate in Shanghai, even though a spokesperson states that the claims “are untrue.”