Lee Jeong-hoon, ex-chairman of Bithumb, South Korea’s key crypto exchange, faces a potential 8-year prison term pending the Seoul High Court’s appeal verdict on January 18, 2024.
The legal saga centres on accusations that Lee deceived BK Group’s chairman, Kim Byung-gun, in a potential Bithumb acquisition, allegedly siphoning 110 billion won ($70 million) through a deceitful agreement involving BXA token listing on Bithumb.
Prosecutors argue Lee concealed challenges in listing BXA, intending to profit and evade financial regulations. Lee’s defence contends Kim’s inconsistent testimony undermines credibility and asserts Lee fulfilled seller obligations, extending payment deadlines before an unexpected lawsuit.
The appeal’s outcome is pivotal, not just for Lee but for the broader crypto industry, potentially setting a precedent in exchange governance disputes. As Bithumb eyes a 2025 Kosdaq IPO, the verdict will significantly impact the exchange’s future and BXA token fate.
Anticipated in January 2024, the verdict could trigger a reassessment of crypto exchange governance and attract heightened regulatory scrutiny, reshaping industry policies and practices.