Bithumb is a cryptocurrency exchange started in Seoul,
South Korea, a country inhabited by some of the most active cryptocurrency
traders in the world. The exchange enables traders to exchange Korean Won
(KRW) for most popular cryptocurrencies.
The exchange was founded by Daesik Kim, who had previously worked in the
gaming industry as a developer. In March 2018, Daesik left Bithumb to join
Bezant, a blockchain-based payment protocol and application firm.
Bithumb has claimed its foremost management ideology is the protection of
customer assets. Its operator BTC Korea previously announced its intent to
fully comply with future regulations from the South Korean government and
to adequately capitalize itself to protect its clients. The exchange stated
that it was open to steps such as the identification of its clients by
their real names.
The company released its first audit report outlining Bithumb's financial
performance in April 2018. At the time the exchange had 220 employees and
15 shareholders. It generated ₩333.42 billion ($312 million) in operating
revenue in 2017, a significant increase compared to the previous year of
₩4.32 billion ($4.1 million). Its net profit was ₩534.90 billion ($501
million) in 2017, up sharply from ₩2.51 billion ($2.4 million) in the
In October of 2018, plastic surgeon and start-up investor Dr. Kim Byung
Gun, bought a $352 million stake in Bithumb. He closed a deal through his
BK Global Consortium to acquire 50% plus one share of BTC Holding Co.
Since its inception, the exchange has suffered several security breaches.
In June 2018, around 35 billion Korean Won (around $31 million) was stolen
from the exchange by hackers. Bithumb promptly offered to refund all
affected users from its own reserves.
A year earlier, in 2017, a Bithumb employee's home PC was compromised
giving hackers access to the personal information of 31,800 Bithumb users.
The hack affected approximately 3% of all Bithumb customers as their
usernames, their real names, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, and
funds were exposed. A number of accounts were drained of their funds and it
was estimated that around a billion Won was lost as a result. Again,
Bithumb offered to pay damages.
From Sept to Dec 2018, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Korea Internet
& Security Agency, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance inspected 21
crypto exchanges across a range of 85 different aspects such as
administrative, network, system and operational security, and database
backup and wallet management. Bithumb was one of only seven exchanges that
passed the inspection.Read More