The South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is currently undergoing a “special tax investigation” by the National Tax Service (NTS) of the country. On January 10th, tax agents conducted a raid on the exchange’s headquarters in the capital city of Seoul as part of a compliance investigation. The investigation is centered around verifying the possibility of tax evasion by examining both domestic and international transactions of Bithumb Korea, Bithumb Holdings, and its affiliates. Additionally, observations regarding tax evasion related to the ownership of Bithumb are also underway.
Bithumb Under Investigation Again
The investigation is being carried out by the 4th Bureau of Investigation of the Seoul Regional Tax Service, which specifically investigates “special tax investigations” as opposed to standard ones. This is not the first time that Bithumb has been subject to such an investigation; in 2018, the NTS conducted a special tax investigation on the company, through which Bithumb won roughly $64 million in income tax.
This development comes on the heels of recent events surrounding Bithumb. On January 3rd, the company’s former chair, Lee Jung-Hoon, was acquitted in the first instance by prosecutors in South Korea, where he had been facing allegations of $70 million in fraud charges. Additionally, on December 30th, the largest shareholder and executive of Bithumb, Mr. Park Mo, was found dead. Mr. Park was under investigation for embezzlement and stock price manipulation by local authorities.
Crypto Billionaires’ Mysterious Deaths: Is There a Broader Issue in the Industry?
The death of Park Mo is the latest in a string of crypto billionaires who have died within a month of each other. Other individuals who have recently passed include Nikolai Mushegian, the co-founder of MakerDAO, and Amber Group co-founder Tiantian Kullander. Some crypto skeptics have pointed to the timing of these deaths, in conjunction with the recent fall of FTX, as evidence of a broader issue within the crypto industry.
Regulators around the world have been keeping a close watch on the crypto industry in light of recent turmoil and uncertainty. The tax investigation of Bithumb is just one example of the increased scrutiny being placed on the industry. As the use and acceptance of cryptocurrency continues to grow, it is likely that regulators will become increasingly involved in ensuring that the industry is operating in a legal and ethical manner.
The South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is currently undergoing a “special tax investigation” by the National Tax Service (NTS) of the country, to verify the possibility of tax evasion. Regulators around the world are keeping a close watch on the crypto industry and it is important for companies like Bithumb to operate in a legal and ethical manner. The recent deaths of several high-profile individuals in the crypto industry is not confirmed as related to the crypto industry, it could be a coincidence. The crypto industry should work to gain mainstream acceptance and continue to grow by complying with laws and regulations to avoid further investigation and issues.