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FTX holds discussions to acquire South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb

Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX is accelerating his acquisition spree with plans to acquire the South Korean-based Bithumb crypto exchange

The acquisition was confirmed by Vidente, the owner of Bithumb, who noted that talks have already been held on a possible sale, CNBC reported on July 26. 

Notably, if the acquisition materialises, FTX is considering different options, including a full takeover of Bithumb or joint management of the exchange.

Furthermore, the deal will likely expand Bithumb’s footprints in Asia, considering that it has already signed several agreements in the region; currently, Bithumb is among the most popular crypto exchanges in Asia. 

Opposition to FTX’s entry into South Korea 

The possible purchase of Bithumb by FTX comes at a time when South Korea is tightening cryptocurrency regulations. Interestingly, key financial figures in the country have opposed FTX’s latest attempt to enter the region. 

“For the moment, there is no reason for FTX to enter the Korean crypto market with the financial authorities tightening the regulations and prosecutors widening their investigation into crypto exchanges,” said Lee Tai-ki, a researcher at the Korea Institute of Finance. 

The country’s tight grip on the crypto sector was recently highlighted by a government raid on major South Korean crypto exchanges as part of a widening investigation into the collapse of the Terra (LUNA) ecosystem crash. 

Bankman-Fried’s interest in rescuing crypto businesses 

It is worth noting that with the accelerated crypto market meltdown, most businesses have been impacted while struggling to sustain operations. Consequently, Bankman-Fried has expressed interest in rescuing several entities to maneuver the stormy waters. 

FTX has since signed high-profile acquisition deals, including the option to buy crypto lending company BlockFi at a maximum price of $240 million. The amount is significantly lower than the company’s previous $4.8 billion valuation. 

Elsewhere, FTX also reached a deal to acquire the Japanese crypto exchange Liquid.

Overall, the general market meltdown has plunged businesses into bankruptcy, with lending platforms Celsius and Voyager Digital among the notable entities. Interestingly, Bankman-Fried, through his firm Alameda Research, offered Voyager Digital a loan.

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