South Korean prosecutors raided the Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange on Thursday on allegations of price manipulation and fraudulent transactions in local tokens, including GoMoney2 and Pixel Coin, according to local media reports. Bithumb executives were separately charged earlier this week with alleged embezzlement and stock price manipulation.

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Fast facts

  • The search of Bithumb is to gather transaction data on the GoMoney2 and Pixel Coin, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office told Yonhap News Agency.
  • GoMoney2 is still being traded on Bithumb, while Pixel Coin was never listed on the platform. Prosecutors are reportedly planning to conduct a search and seizure on the local Coinone and Upbit exchanges, which both delisted Pixel for failing to meet internal standards.
  • Separately, Seoul prosecutors on Wednesday requested an arrest warrant for Kang Jong-hyun, reportedly the chairman of Bithumb, for alleged embezzlement and fraudulent transactions. 
  • His sister Kang Ji-yeon is the chief executive officer of two Bithumb affiliates, Inbiogen and Bucket Studio, who was also investigated by authorities in January for alleged embezzlement and stock price manipulation. Kang’s Inbiogen owns video equipment manufacturer Vidente, which is the single largest shareholder of Bithumb Holdings.
  • Bithumb is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by trading volume, and is one of the country’s five fully-licensed platforms with Upbit, Coinone, Korbit and GOPAX. 
  • South Korean crypto investors nicknamed locally issued cryptocurrencies “Kimchi coins” after the country’s representative fermented vegetable dish. 
  • Bithumb did not immediately respond to Forkast’s request for comments. 

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