Former Bithumb Chairman Faces Eight-Year Prison Sentence
South Korean prosecutors have requested an eight-year prison sentence for Lee Jung-hoon, the former chairman of Bithumb, the country’s second- largest digital currency exchange. The charges involve violations of laws and regulations related to economic crimes, in particular fraud. The prosecution states that Lee deceived BXA (Bithumb’s native coin) by falsely promising co-management and listing assistance to BK Group Chairman Kim Byung-gun.
Bithumb Scandal Deepens
The prosecution alleges that Lee’s actions resulted in around $85 Million in damages. They argue that he planned to shift the control of Bithumb to foreign corporations to take advantage of the exchange’s digital currency while evading financial regulations. The prosecution further claims that Lee possessed whole lot of information imbalances and “intentionally passed” on numerous dangers to the co-acquirer.
During the trial, the prosecution emphasized that Lee was aware of the difficulties in listing the BXA coin but failed to inform the victim, intentionally omitting details regarding the challenges and presenting misleading information during the contract negotiations. The defense, on the other hand, argues that there are inconsistencies in the victim’s statements and notes that that the victim at the beginning proposed the acquisition of Bithumb.
Lee Jung-Hoon’s Final Plea
In his final statement, Lee regretted the situation, stating that he believed President Kim would lead the company well and assist it grow. He claimed to have acted in good faith as a seller and requested an extension to fulfill his obligations but was unexpectedly sued. The trial for Lee Jung-hoon is set to continue, with the appeal scheduled for January 18 next year. This case is one between plenty of scandals involving Bithumb executives. Notably, the owner of Bithumb, Kang Jong-hyun, was likewise recently arrested on charges of embezzlement and stock manipulation.
South Korea Cracks Down on Cryptocurrency-Related Crimes
Authorities have been working to sustain integrity and security within the industry of digital currency by cracking down on cryptocurrency-related crimes in South Korea. In addition, the present total market capitalization of the digital currency market is $1.342 trillion, with a 64.81% increase year-over-year, indicating the industry’s long-term upward trajectory. Bitcoin (BTC) remains the dominant force in the market, with a market capitalization of $709 billion, accounting for 49.59% of the total market cap, according to CoinGecko.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com
Hot Take: The Future of Digital currency in South Korea
The prosecution’s request for an eight-year prison sentence for Lee Jung-hoon and the crackdown on cryptocurrency-related crimes in South Korea indicate a growing determination by authorities to sustain integrity and security within the industry. The scandals involving Bithumb executives and the ongoing legal battles underscore the challenges faced by digital currency exchanges in the country. Regardless of this, the industry’s long-term trajectory shows a promising future, evidenced by the whole lot of year-over-year increase in market capitalization. As regulatory efforts continue, South Korea’s role in shaping future of the digital currency will be closely watched by the worldwide market.
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