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Former Bithumb Chairman Faces 8-Year Sentence

Scheduled for January 18, 2024, the verdict in the legal battle involving Lee Jeong-hoon, the former chairman of Bithumb, South Korea's leading cryptocurrency exchange, could result in an eight-year prison sentence.

Complex Origins: Fraud and Manipulation

In a complex saga dating back to October 2018, Lee is accused of manipulating Bithumb's governance for personal gain while evading financial regulations.

Prosecutors claim he engaged in fraudulent activities during negotiations for Bithumb's acquisition by Kim Byung-gun of BK Group.

The allegations revolve around Lee's supposed awareness of challenges related to the listing of the BXA token.

It is asserted that he failed to disclose this crucial information to Kim, despite receiving payments amidst difficulties with the listing.

Defence and Inconsistencies

Facing charges under the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specified Economic Crimes, particularly related to fraud, Lee has raised objections to the prosecution's claims.

He highlights inconsistencies in Kim's statements and questions his credibility, asserting that Kim was fully aware of the progress regarding the BXA token listing and was capable of leading Bithumb.

The outcome of Lee's ongoing appeal holds significant implications for both Bithumb's future and the fate of BXA tokens. As Bithumb actively prepares for an IPO on Kosdaq by 2025, a guilty verdict could trigger a reevaluation of governance structures within cryptocurrency exchanges, potentially leading to heightened regulatory scrutiny.

"Bithumb, a virtual asset exchange, is attempting the industry's first initial public offering (IPO).It is interpreted that in order to overturn the market structure dominated by Upbit, which stands at about 85%..."
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