Star surgeon’s group buys Bithumb

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Star surgeon’s group buys Bithumb

A consortium led by a prominent Seoul plastic surgeon has purchased a controlling stake in Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, news reports said Friday.

The hyper-wired South has emerged as one of the world’s top Bitcoin markets, at one point accounting for more than 20 percent of global bitcoin transactions - about 10 times the country’s share of the global economy.

Singapore-based BK Global Consortium bought a 50-percent stake plus one share in Bithumb, the country’s biggest virtual currency exchange, from BTC Holdings for about 400 billion won ($353 million), the Yonhap news agency and other Korean media said, citing industry sources.

Bithumb has more than a million customers but suffered a devastating hacking attack in June that ended with more than $30 million worth of cryptocurrency stolen.

Korean exchanges have been hit by a series of attacks by hackers who have stolen massive amounts of money, contributing to tumbling coin prices and flight from the market.

The BK consortium is an investment group led by Kim Byung-gun, a high-profile plastic surgeon who founded BK Plastic Surgery Hospital, a major clinic in Seoul that also has operations in Singapore.

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