JeongHoon Lee, the advisor of Bithumb Holdings, has been elected as the new chairman of the Board of Bithumb Korea. The ongoing dispute over the control of the management for Bithumb entered a new phase as the chairman tries to establish a solid organizational structure and management systems. It is expected that whoever secures the management of BTOne will be the winner of current Bithumb dispute.
On the 14th, Bithumb Korea held a board meeting and appointed the advisor to the chairman position. For many, he was already considered as the actual owner of the company. The representative of Bithumb explained that the advisor was elected in order to “strengthen the responsibility of the major shareholders” and that Mr. Lee will be focusing on “new business opportunities based on foreign business networking rather than the actual day-to-day management.”
As Mr. Lee now stands at the forefront for Bithumb Korea, its once-complicated organizational structure is expected to be simplified. Currently, the majority of the chairman’s asset is centered around Bithumb Holdings: 51.38% of DAA is owned by BTHMBHoldings (which also owns 10.7% of Bithumb Holdings) and DAA owns 30% of Bithumb Holdings. BTHMBHoldings is being managed by SG Brain Technology, which is owned by the advisors JeongHoon Lee(49.997%) and ByungGun Kim(49.991%).
Once the complex organizational structure of Bithumb Holdings disentangles, the management of Bithumb Korea will be clearly divided between Bithumb Holdings and Vidente. The industry saw the appointment of the new chairman as an intention to firmly lock down the organizational structure: an official who is well versed in the situation mentioned that “the motive for moving up to the forefront line seems to be an ambition to take the upper-hand in this management war” and that “he’s trying to ensure the structure is soild”
◆ Whoever wins BTOne will take Bithumb
Currently the CEO of Vidente JaeWook Kim and Mr. Lee are at war to take Bithumb ownership. However, Vidente owns 34.24% of Bithumb Holdings and Bithumb Holdings own 21.9% of BTOne (who owns the majority of Vidente), making the conflict even tougher to unravel. It is expected that whoever takes over the board of BTOne will manage Bithumb Holdings, making him the actual owner of Bithumb Korea. (Related article: With its complicated organizational structure of Bithumb, where’s the real management?).
The industry expects Mr. Lee’s engagement to the management and simplification of the management structure will bring a positive impact to the overall market. Another representative says “unlike other exchanges, there was a possibility that Bithumb’s unclear governance structure would be an issue once the Special Act is enforced.” So if the dispute over the control of Bithumb comes to an end, it will help boost the overall industry trust as well.