South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb announced today that it is shutting down its offline offices as Korea struggles with a renewed coronavirus outbreak.
Bithumb Suspending Offline Support
Since the start of November, the country has been recording increased daily cases of COVID-19, with the number tripling in the last nine days. This has raised fears that South Korea has entered a third wave of the pandemic.
As authorities are taking measures to strengthen social distancing to curtail the spread of the virus, Bithumb said in its announcement that it intends to suspend its Seoul offline support service temporarily.
Bithumb noted that the Gangnam center office shutdown will begin on Tuesday, Nov 24, and will remain closed until further notice.
“We ask for your understanding of any inconvenience in using the service, and we will inform you of the normalization time of offline Gangnam Center operation through a separate notice,” the exchange said.
In September, Bithumb was the headline across the crypto space. The exchange’s head office was reportedly raided three times as local authorities searched and confiscated company documents. In one of the raids, they seized dozens of shares in Bithumb Holdings belonging to Bithumb Korea Director Kim Byung-Gun.
The police accused Bithumb of fraud related to the $25.2million BXA token presale conducted by the company. Before the presale, Bithumb promised to list the token for trading after the event but failed to do so, causing investors to suffer massive losses.
Two weeks after the raids, authorities summoned Bithumb’s Chairman Lee Junh-hoon for questioning.
Bithumb For Sale?
Following the raid and probe, another report claimed that the exchange was up for sale with a price tag ranging from $430 million to $604 million. The report revealed that foreign financial investors and domestic private equity funds had shown interest.
However, Bithumb has remained quiet about the sale as well as the police investigation.