Former Bithumb chair faces 8-year imprisonment

Lee Jeong-hoon, the former chair of **Bithumb**, one of South Korea’s major **cryptocurrency exchanges**, is at the center of a legal battle and might face an eight-year prison sentence, with a verdict scheduled for Jan. 18, 2024.

According to Korean local media reports, prosecutors contend that Lee intended to revamp **Bithumb**’s governance to gain from exchange tokens, circumventing financial regulations. The case has been ongoing since October 2018, when the former chair allegedly defrauded 100 billion won ($70 million) during negotiations for the acquisition of **Bithumb** from Kim Byung-gun, chair of the cosmetic surgery company BK Group. Prosecutors claim Lee knew about challenges in the BXA token listing but didn’t disclose it to Kim. Despite listing issues, Lee purportedly received payments without informing Kim about the decision not to list the BXA token.

Legal Battle

The South Korean prosecutors requested an eight-year **prison** sentence for Lee.

Lee’s defense challenges the claims, pointing out discrepancies in Kim’s statements and questioning his reliability. Lee insists on Kim’s competence to lead **Bithumb**, maintaining that Kim was informed about the progress of the BXA token **listing**.

Impact on **Cryptocurrency** Exchanges

Lee faces legal issues related to accusations of violating the Act on Aggravated Punishment for Specified Economic Crimes, particularly **fraud**.

The decision on Lee’s ongoing appeal might set a precedent for legal proceedings involving **cryptocurrency** exchanges and governance. This development coincides with **Bithumb**’s preparations for an initial public offering on Kosdaq by 2025.

Regulatory Frameworks

The appeal’s result will significantly impact **Bithumb**’s future and the fate of BXA tokens. A guilty verdict might trigger a reassessment of governance frameworks in **cryptocurrency** exchanges, potentially resulting in increased **regulatory** scrutiny.

While the **cryptocurrency** community and investors anticipate the appeal outcome, the case underscores the industry’s dynamic nature and the necessity for well-defined **regulatory** frameworks to tackle governance issues and uphold trust among investors and stakeholders.

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Editor Notes

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