• Kang Jong-hyun, the older brother of Kang Ji-yeon, the CEO of a Bithumb subsidiary, has been arrested on suspicion of embezzlement.
• Prosecutors allege that the brothers plotted to use the sale of convertible bonds to illegally syphon money and manipulate stock prices of Inbiogen and Bucket Studio.
• On January 10th, Bithumb’s Seoul offices were searched by investigators as part of a tax investigation.
Kang Jong-hyun, the 41 year-old older brother of Kang Ji-yeon, the CEO of a Bithumb subsidiary, was arrested on February 2 on suspicion of embezzlement. Prosecutors allege that the brothers plotted to use the sale of convertible bonds to illegally syphon money and manipulate stock prices of Inbiogen and Bucket Studio, a video production company. The Seoul Southern District Court had issued an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-hyun on many allegations, including dereliction of duty, market manipulation, and fraudulent transactions.
Vidente is Bithumb’s largest stakeholder, owning a 34.2% holding of the company’s stock. In response to the allegations, the CEO of Bucket Studio, Kang Ji-yeon, issued an apology to shareholders on the company’s website and stated that he would cooperate with authorities in their investigation.
Based on reports, a probe of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea was initiated on January 10th. As part of the continuing tax investigation, investigators searched Bithumb’s Seoul offices. The investigation was based on charges of theft and market manipulation, with a particular focus on Kang Jong-hyun.
With the arrest of Kang Jong-hyun, the true owner of Bithumb, South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, the case has been brought to the attention of the public. This case may have serious implications for the cryptocurrency industry in South Korea, as it could be seen as an example of the potential dangers of investing in the industry. Nevertheless, it is yet to be seen how this case will be resolved and what the consequences will be.