South Korean Authorities Investigate Bithumb Corruption Allegations

ByGavin Cole

Mar 20, 2023

Lee Sang-jun, the chief executive officer of the holding company for Bithumb, is the subject of a probe by the authorities in South Korea after claims of bribery concerning the listing of specific cryptocurrencies on the exchange.

Because the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office has announced that they are investigating the incident, worries over the possibility of corruption in the cryptocurrency business have been raised. It is believed that Lee took bribes in return for listing certain digital assets on the cryptocurrency exchange known as Bithumb, which is one of the biggest in South Korea.

Mystery surrounds corruption claims

The prosecutor’s office for the Seoul Southern District has not made any new disclosures on the ongoing inquiry into Lee’s whereabouts or the time of the purported police raid.

South Korean authorities have a history of closely examining Bithumb and its leadership. The cryptocurrency exchange has encountered numerous legal and regulatory hurdles in recent years. These challenges include a police raid on its headquarters in 2018 amid accusations of fraudulent activities and embezzlement.

Bithumb executives face a fresh round of allegations, putting even more pressure on the embattled cryptocurrency exchange. The company has been grappling with challenges since the 2018 hack, including declining trading volume and other setbacks. These latest accusations have only intensified the scrutiny on Bithumb’s leadership and raised concerns about its ability to recover from the ongoing turmoil.

Crypto scandals unfold anew

In addition to the investigation of Lee Sang-jun, prosecutors have disclosed that an ex-employee of Coinone, South Korea’s third-largest cryptocurrency exchange based on trading volume, is under investigation for allegedly accepting bribes. This investigation is separate from the study of Lee Sang-jun.

But, in accordance with South Korean privacy rules, the prosecutors have refrained from disclosing the person’s complete identity. The government’s intention to rid the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency sector of the country of corruption and other forms of wrongdoing is shown by this recent occurrence.

The recent events have also highlighted the potential dangers investors face in a largely unregulated sector. Since there is less control, it may be simpler for dishonest people to engage in criminal acts.

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