Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX is in talks to buy crypto exchange Bithumb, continuing its acquisition spree

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  • Vidente, the owner of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, said on Tuesday it has held discussions about a possible sale of its stake to FTX.
  • Talks of another acquisition are part of FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s aggressive acquisition approach amid a major downturn in the cryptocurrency market.
  • If the deal with Bithumb goes through, FTX will gain further foothold in Asia and in particular South Korea, where crypto trading is very popular.

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Vidente, the owner of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, said on Tuesday it has held discussions about a possible sale of its stake to FTX.

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The company said it is reviewing all possible options, including a full acquisition of Bithumb or joint management of the exchange.

However, no specific course of action has been decided on, Vidente said.

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Talks of another acquisition are part of FTX and its founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s aggressive acquisition approach amid a major downturn in the cryptocurrency market, which has seen billions of dollars in value eviscerated in the last few months.

Last month, FTX signed a deal giving it the option to buy crypto lending company BlockFi at a maximum price of $240 million, significantly lower than the firm’s previous $4.8 billion valuation.

Earlier this year, FTX entered into an agreement to acquire Japanese crypto exchange Liquid. If the deal with Bithumb goes through, FTX will gain further foothold in Asia and in particular South Korea, where crypto trading is very popular.

Bithumb is one of South Korea’s largest exchanges. At its peak in the last 24 hours, it is processed just over $500 million of trades, according to data from CoinGecko.

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Bankman-Fried, meanwhile, has positioned himself up as a lender of last resort as many crypto businesses struggle.

Alameda Research, Bankman-Fried’s quantitative research firm, provided Voyager Digital with a loan. Voyager Digital eventually filed for bankruptcy because of its exposure to Three Arrows Capital, a hedge fund which also plunged into bankruptcy.

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