According to local news outlet Aju News report, U.S.-based multinational investment banking giant Morgan Stanley is rumored to be negotiating the acquisition of a significant share in the leading Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb. The crypto exchange is reportedly in discussions with major Bithumb shareholder, Bident — who owns a roughly 10% stake in Bithumb Korea. The recent massive rally of bitcoin has attracted several major institutions to the crypto industry.
Morgan Stanley plans to invest $254 million to $441 million in Bithumb.
A March 19 article from leading local search engine Naver states that Morgan Stanley is planning to invest between 300 and 500 billion Korean won ($254 million to $441 million). The report cited an anonymous senior Bithumb representative as stating, “Morgan Stanley participated in the acquisition of Bithumb.” “The reason Morgan Stanley used Bident is that it understood Bident has the right to negotiate a preferred sale to acquire Bithumb Holdings,” said a second anonymous source familiar with the matter.
Bithumb is targeting a $2 billion valuation.
Crypto analyst Joseph Young shared the news to Twitter, noting Bithumb is targeting a $2 billion valuation. Earlier it was reported, Morgan Stanley will launch three funds enabling Bitcoin ownership for wealthy customers with “an aggressive risk tolerance.” As reported earlier, Bithumb CEO made some predictions regarding the upcoming new rules governing the national industry. The CEO believes there will only be between four and seven exchanges surviving new crypto regulations. The amended Special Financial Transactions Information Act was approved by the National Assembly finance committee in November last year. The South Korean government is also planning on enforcing a tax law on cryptocurrency profits starting next year.