• South Korean tax authorities are investigating local crypto exchange operator Bithumb Holdings.
• The investigation will be conducted by a unit dedicated to “special tax investigations.”
• This is not the first time Bithumb has been at the center of such an investigation.
South Korean tax authorities have launched an investigation into local crypto exchange operator Bithumb Holdings. The investigation, which is being conducted by a unit dedicated to “special tax investigations,” is focused on possible tax evasion via domestic and international transactions of Bithumb Korea, Bithumb Holdings, and affiliates in Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
A company official confirmed the news to CoinDesk Korea but could not share details. This is not the first time Bithumb has been at the center of such an investigation. In 2018, the National Tax Service conducted a special tax investigation on Bithumb Korea and collected 80 billion won in income tax. It was determined in that investigation that Bithumb was not guilty of tax evasion.
Authorities have questioned businessman Kang Chang-won, who is the largest shareholder of Bithumb Holdings, about the investigation. It is reported that authorities are checking whether the company has declared its foreign assets properly and whether it has conducted transactions with overseas accounts. There is also speculation that the investigation may be related to the current management of Bithumb, as the company is under new ownership.
The investigation is also likely to put increased pressure on other crypto exchanges in the country. South Korea has been tightening up its regulations on the crypto industry in recent years, and the investigation could be seen as part of the government’s effort to ensure compliance. It remains to be seen how the investigation will affect the crypto industry in South Korea.