Bithumb, South Korea’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has signed a deal with SeriesOne, an American ICO company, according to Yonhap News which cites industry sources.
Under the terms of the partnership, the two entities will set up a regulated security token exchange in the US. The new venture will be managed by SeriesOne, with Bithumb providing investment and technical support.
Tokens as securities
A Bithumb spokesperson said: “SeriesOne actively sought to strike a deal with Bithumb after assessing it as the most suitable partner. Bithumb will ramp up efforts to develop into a global financial firm as the blockchain-based asset tokenization is expected to spread globally down the road.”
Florida-based SeriesOne’s product is a fundraising/marketing service for startups. Before accepting a customer, it reviews their business plans and tax returns. If they are approved, they are promoted by and raise money via SeriesOne.
The company is licensed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It treats tokens as securities, and refers to initial coin offerings as ITOs on its website. In the US, failing to register a contract which the government later decides is a security can get you jail time.
The firm has a branch in South Korea, and aims to go public in the US in the second half of next year.
Global financial firm
Bithumb is South Korea’s leading cryptocurrency exchange. It is difficult to say exactly how busy it is; according to coinmarketcap.com, it reports $1.7 billion in trades over the last 24 hours, while on cryptocoincharts.com this figure is $176.5 million.
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In addition to this, it was reported in September that around $250 million of the exchange’s daily volume was fake – the result of a clever scammer taking advantage of a daily special offer by wash trading and taking home a free $90,000 daily.
Nonetheless, the company successfully passed a three month-long government tax audit in June, the result of accusations of tax avoidance in 2017, and reported $35 million in profit in the third quarter of 2018. This was despite using $40 million to reimburse customers after a major hack took them for $31 million.
In October, a majority of the Bithumb was purchased by a Singapore-based businessman who made his money from plastic surgery,
Bithumb’s customer center moved to a larger facility located in Gangnam!
We have counselors who can speak English, Chinese and Japanese. pic.twitter.com/7YKhHuiShp
— Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) March 19, 2018