FTX, the cyptocurrency exchange firm founded by crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, is looking to acquire South Korea-based crypto platform Bithumb.
Reports of the potential acquisition surfaced on Friday, with major publication Bloomberg citing sources familiar with the development.
According to the report, FTX’s plan to buy Bithumb is ongoing, with talks between the companies allegedly having taken place for the past several months. A spokesperson from the South Korean crypto exchange could not confirm the reports.
Bithumb is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, behind Upbit, Coinnone and Flybit, CoinGecko data shows. At the time of writing, the exchange has a 24-hour trading volume of over $550,000,000. It offers access to 188 coins and 290 trading pairs.
Bankman-Fried’s quest for a ‘crypto empire’
The past few months have seen several crypto companies struggle with the impact of the crypto winter and broader contagion exacerbated by irresponsible practices by some platforms.
But as a few platforms stare at bankruptcy and all that, some industry players are emerging as saviours. But the efforts are also tinged within an aggressive attempt to take advantage of the downturn to scoop strugglers on the cheap.
Sam Bankman-Fried, through his FTX and Alameda Research fits in both categories. The entrepreneur’s firms have indeed chipped in with credit facilities to help platforms such as BlockFi and Voyager Digital, two of the platforms to recently hit troubled waters.
But while Voyager has since filed for bankruptcy, FTX has a deal to buy BlockFi and could add the crypto lender to recent acquisitions like Bitvo and Embed Financial.
The billionaire’s company, as well as its subsidiary FTX US are also reportedly working on new fundraising deals, plans that could offer the emerging crypto empire more money to add to the $1 billion already put into various acquisition and rescue efforts.
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