Bithumb chief bribed to list crypto, prosecutors claim

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South Korean authorities have announced an investigation into executives at Bithumb’s parent company following allegations that it listed certain cryptocurrencies in exchange for money.

As reported by Chosun Biz, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office disclosed on Friday that a number of senior figures at Bithumb Holdings are under investigation. It also revealed that a ‘Mr. Lee’ allegedly accepted money for crypto listings.

Tech news outlet Forkast identified ‘Mr. Lee’ as Lee Sang-jun, the chief exec of Bithumb Holdings. It also reports that the company’s offices and the private residence of Lee have already been raided. 

The crypto behind the alleged bribes has so far only been referred to as “a certain virtual currency.” 

Bithumb subject of numerous investigations

Previous Bithumb chairman Lee Jung-hoon faced trial over fraud charges in October last year but was found not guilty in January.

Read more: Upbit, Bithumb among Korean crypto exchanges hit in Terra fraud raid

That same month, tax authorities began probing Bithumb Holdings over alleged tax avoidance, and the following month, former chairman Kang Jong-hyun was arrested and accused of market manipulation and embezzlement.

According to a former Bithumb executive, the exchange “has been aggressively listing shady kimchi coins for a while now. These listings have caused a lot of noise in the marketplace, so many thought that the firm was going to be investigated before Coinone,” (via Digital Assets).

Coinone, another large crypto exchange operating in South Korea, also faces allegations of accepting bribes in exchange for listing specific cryptocurrencies.

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