Former Bithumb Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon Faces 8-Year Prison Sentence in Appeal

Lee Jeong-hoon, the former chairman of Bithumb, one of South Korea’s primary cryptocurrency exchanges, faces a potential 8-year prison sentence. The Seoul High Court is expected to deliver its verdict in the appeal case on January 18, 2024.

The legal battle revolves around accusations against Lee for his dealings with Kim Byung-gun, chairman of BK Group, in a potential acquisition of Bithumb. The prosecution alleges that Lee duped Kim Byung-gun out of 110 billion won (approximately $70 million) through a fraudulent agreement involving the listing of BXA tokens on the Bithumb exchange.

The prosecution claims that Lee was fully aware of the challenges in listing the BXA token but deliberately withheld this information from Kim. Furthermore, they argue that Lee’s restructuring plan for Bithumb aimed to profit from exchange tokens while evading financial regulations.

Lee’s defense team, however, challenges these allegations. They argue that inconsistencies in Kim’s testimony undermine his credibility. Moreover, they assert that Lee fulfilled all obligations as a seller and extended the payment deadline upon request, only to be unexpectedly sued by Kim.

The outcome of the appeal is critical, not just for Lee Jeong-hoon but also for the broader cryptocurrency industry. It is poised to set a precedent in legal disputes involving crypto exchanges and governance. Additionally, with Bithumb preparing for an IPO on the Kosdaq by 2025, the verdict will significantly influence the exchange’s future and the fate of BXA tokens.

The trial’s decision, expected in January 2024, could lead to a reassessment of governance structures in cryptocurrency exchanges and potentially attract increased regulatory scrutiny. The legal outcome will be a pivotal moment for the industry, potentially reshaping policies and practices in cryptocurrency exchanges.

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bitFlyer Co-Founder Seeks to Reinstate as CEO

Yuzo Kano, co-founder of bitFlyer, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, plans to reintroduce himself as CEO in an attempt to reinvigorate the company. Kano left the company in 2019 amidst a series of management disputes, but he aims to lead the company towards an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the coming months, according to a report by Bloomberg. He also hopes to put Japan back on the map in the world of cryptocurrency by making bitFlyer capable of competing on the international stage.

Kano intends to introduce stablecoins to the trading platform, build a token-issuance operation, and open-source bitFlyer’s “miyabi” blockchain to the public if he is reinstated. He believes that the company has become stagnant in his absence, with no new products or services launched, which he aims to change. He claims that bitFlyer is “a company that produces nothing new.”

Regulatory pressures imposed by Japan’s Financial Services Agency in 2018 led to management issues at bitFlyer, with the need to adopt more stringent money laundering policies. Despite this, bitFlyer remains one of the larger cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, with over 2.5 million accounts. The departure of international competitors such as Kraken and Coinbase has left bitFlyer with a stronger position in the Japanese market.

Kano retained a 40% stake in the company despite stepping down as CEO, and he believes that he can help bitFlyer reclaim its former status as an innovative and dynamic company. He plans to introduce new products and services, including stablecoins and token-issuance operations, and he hopes to take the company public in the near future.

If Kano is reinstated as CEO, his plans for bitFlyer could help to solidify the company’s position in the Japanese and international cryptocurrency markets. By introducing stablecoins and other innovations, he could attract new users and investors to the platform. Additionally, opening up bitFlyer’s blockchain to the public could foster collaboration and innovation in the broader cryptocurrency community.

In summary, Yuzo Kano, co-founder of bitFlyer, aims to return as CEO in an attempt to revitalize the company and lead it towards an IPO. He plans to introduce new products and services, including stablecoins and token-issuance operations, and he hopes to make bitFlyer capable of competing on the international stage. By doing so, he believes that he can put Japan back on the map in the world of cryptocurrency.


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Crypto Exchange Expected to Launch IPO This Year: Bloomberg

Cryptocurrency exchange is expected to go public as soon as this year, according to Bloomberg.

It is becoming a trend for crypto firms to seek the public market pursuit. While Coinbase pioneered these growth metrics when listed on the Nasdaq exchange back in last year April, other outfits, including eToro, and Huobi are also notably considering various public entry routes.

According to an insider, is actively conducting interviews with banks for the most likely public offering this year.

But the specific IPO time may not happen until next year, but the plan may still change, after all, this is an anonymous private discussion. is one of the few crypto unicorns as it was valued at $14 billion. Seeing its continuous growth trend, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Macrina Kgil hinted at the possibility of the firm going public in 2023 in an interview with Forbes.

A few days ago, dubbed as the first crypto deal in the National Football League (NFL), the Dallas Cowboys have chosen cryptocurrency platform as its “exclusive digital asset partner.”

As reported by blockchain.News on April 7, Cryptocurrency exchange launched a new asset management brand called BCAM, aimed at institutional investors, family offices, and high net worth individuals.

Currently, it has 37 million verified users with 82 million wallets created.

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Bitcoin miners believe global hash rate to grow ‘aggressively’

Bitcoin (BTC) seems to be on everyone’s mind lately as the world recently witnessed the price of BTC take a rather unexpected bearish turn this month. On January 21, 2022, Bitcoin reached six-month lows, sinking below $40,000 for the first time in months. 

While some panicked, other industry experts pointed out that the Bitcoin network has become verifiably stronger than ever before. The growth of the Bitcoin network has become apparent, as hash rate figures for BTC continue to set new highs this month. For example, on Jan. 22, the BTC network recorded an all-time high of 26.643 trillion with an average hash rate of 190.71 exahash per second (EH/s).

The hash rate will continue to grow, which is a good thing

Samir Tabar, chief strategy officer at Bit Digital — a publicly listed Bitcoin miner — told Cointelegraph that the BTC hash rate refers to the amount of computing power being contributed to the network at any given time. Tabar explained that when it comes to Bitcoin mining, a higher hash rate equates to a good hash rate. “The more computing power going towards maintaining a network, the more secure it will be and the more transactions it will be able to handle,” said Tabar.

As such, the recent hash rate figures for Bitcoin are extremely notable, even with the price of BTC being down. Peter Wall, CEO of crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain, told Cointelegraph that he wasn’t surprised to see the BTC hash rate hit close to 200 EH/s. Wall further stated that even with events that have recently disrupted BTC mining hash rate like the political upheaval in Kazakhstan, the hash rate will continue to grow higher each month:

“Argo Blockchain’s mining margin last year in 2021, which is our revenue minus our direct costs, was over 80%. It was a very good year for miners. In 2020, where BTC prices were much lower, our margin was 41%. So, this year I think we will still see strong margins in the space despite the recent drop in the price of Bitcoin and the increase in the hash rate.”

Darin Feinstein, co-founder and co-chairman of Core Scientific — a major publicly-traded blockchain infrastructure provider — told Cointelegraph that based on previous Bitcoin mining hash rate data, the BTC network grew by 200% following the mass exodus of miners from China:

“The Bitcoin network one year ago was approximately 143 EH/s. Following the mining ban in China, the network fell to 63 EH/s. Today, the hash rate has grown to approximately 198 EH/s. This recent increase represents three important metrics. One, it represents a 130 EH hash rate increase on the network. Two, it represents 130 EH of new hosting infrastructure and primarily new generation hardware deployment and three, this deployment has taken place in geographic regions that use far cleaner energy than the energy used in China.”

With this in mind, Feinstein noted that even though the BTC network has hit all-time highs in terms of EH/s, due to the massive improvements in miner chip technology and geographic distribution away from China, the network is now the most efficient and sustainable than it has ever been. Feinstein added that this data is important because it shows how much energy every terahash uses, which is generally represented by a metric called jules/terahash. He noted that this ratio has fallen greatly over the last several years, demonstrating a major increase in mining energy efficiency.

Bitcoin mining efficiency chart. Source: Darin Feinstein

Will infrastructure support network growth?

Michael Levitt, co-founder chairman and CEO of Core Scientific, told Cointelegraph that he fully anticipates for the BTC global hash rate to continue growing at an aggressive pace.

However, Levitt mentioned that this growth is dependent on the price of Bitcoin moving forward, along with the success of the infrastructure currently being built. “The amount of infrastructure expected will be challenged by global supply chain issues,” he remarked.

Feinstein added that infrastructure is the biggest challenge when it comes to mining Bitcoin. “The bottlenecks for Bitcoin mining are land, energy, equipment, and lastly, infrastructure. There is plenty of ASIC hardware to be purchased, energy and land are also readily available, but miners need a place to plug in power, and, historically, that is where miners run into issues,” he commented.

North America has become one of the world’s largest Bitcoin mining hubs, as per data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, which shows that 35% of the average monthly BTC hash rate comes from the United States, while 10% comes from Canada. Wall explained that North America has taken the lead as a global Bitcoin mining hub for a number of reasons. “This is the case due to the region’s crypto-friendly jurisdiction, its stable regulatory environment, pro-innovation nature and, most importantly, access to the most important thing miners need — low-cost power, preferably renewable.”

Wall elaborated that the low costs of power in the U.S. have been significant for miners, especially when organizations tap into the right part of the power grid. “We’ve seen significant growth in Texas over the last 12 months,” he said. 

Cointelegraph previously reported that the Bitcoin mining industry in Texas consumed around 500 to 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power during Nov. 2021. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reportedly anticipates that demand could increase as much as fivefold by 2023 and has planned an additional 3,000 to 5,000 MW.

Wall elaborated that many miners are moving to Texas due to the fact that the state operates its own power grid that consists of a high degree of power from sustainable generation sources, but needs more flexible demand, or load:

“Miners can provide a consistent load that is flexible. It’s also helpful that Texas has demand response programs in place, where miners will shut down and give power back to the grid when there is high demand. This makes the grid more resilient.”

Benefits such as these have prompted Argo Blockchain to build its next 200 MW facility in Dickens County, west Texas, directly next to a 5.5-gigawatt substation. “There is a lot of congestion at that substation and they need local load to relieve it. The power from west Texas needs to go a long way to reach major urban cities like Dallas and Houston. But, if we can use that energy much closer to where it’s being generated, that relieves the congestion,” remarked Wall.

By drawing power from a nearby substation, Argo Blockchain is demonstrating the use of sustainable energy. According to Wall, the mining company has been carbon negative since 2020. This is important, as Tabar stated that a massive environmental, social and governance movement is currently facing the crypto mining industry:

“Miners must draw from clean sources of power or else they will be regulated out of business. It can’t always be about the cheapest sources of power. Miners will eventually suffer valuation discounts if they use dirty power, even if that source is cheap.”

The perks of going public

A rush of mining firms to go public is another trend the Bitcoin mining industry is likely to witness this year. Most recently, Texas-based Bitcoin mining company Rhodium announced plans to offer 7.69 million shares at $12–$14 each in an initial public offering (IPO).

Core Scientific went public on Jan. 20 after merging with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition in a SPAC transaction. Although shares of Core Scientific have


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Bitcoin miner Rhodium set for IPO, valued at $1.7 billion

The first IPO for the crypto industry in 2022 comes from a Texas-based Bitcoin (BTC) mining company, Rhodium Enterprises.

In an SEC filing made last week, Rhodium plans to offer 7.69 million shares at $12-$14 each in an initial public offering (IPO). Trading under the ticker “RHDM” on Nasdaq, 56.8 million class A and 67.5 million class B shares will be released, ultimately valuing the company at just shy of $1.7 billion. 

Rhodium is a cryptocurrency technology company that uses proprietary tech and liquid cooling technology to self-mine Bitcoin. Their goal is to be the most sustainable and cost-efficient producer of Bitcoin in the industry.

The company joins a growing list of US-based companies that mine Bitcoin. Over the past three years, Marathon, Bitdeer Technologies, Riot Blockchain, and Bit Digital listed on stock exchanges such as NASDAQ.

According to the filing, Rhodium currently runs 125 megawatts (MW) of mining power capacity at its first Texas site. 33,600 Bitcoin miners are running, churning out a total combined hash rate capacity of approximately 2.7 EH/s.

Following the IPO and a raise of $100 million capital, it will run a second site in Texas where they “expect to develop 225 MW of additional capacity.” By the end of 2022, the company will effectively more than double its current capacity.

Bearing in mind that the average cost per BTC in 2021 was about $47,000, their electricity cost basis is staggering:

Our infrastructure platform allows us to mine Bitcoin at a significantly lower cost compared to the industry average. For the period from January 1. 2021, to September 30. 2021, our average electricity cost to produce one Bitcoin was approximately $2,507.

Related: Mr. Wonderful plans to invest in mining company stocks

Texas continues to carve out a reputation as a Bitcoin mining-friendly state. In quarter four of 2021, Senator Ted Cruz commented that Texas should use Bitcoin mining to capture wasted natural gas while the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) anticipated that Texan Bitcoin mining power demands could jump 5 times by 2023.

Rhodium takes advantage of Texas’ “independent power market and abundance of low-cost renewable energy resources,” and pro-Bitcoin business environment.

Given the company’s experience with liquid-cooling technology and efficiency; for tiny Bitcoin miners seeking to solve valid blocks, it just got a bit harder.