The ongoing saga of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb continues, this time with ruling from local courts.
On Jan. 13, the South Korean Supreme Court finalized its ruling that the exchange must pay damages to investors over a 1.5-hour service outage on Nov. 12, 2017. According to a local news source, the damages are equivalent to $202,400 — 251.4 million in the regional currency won.
A district initially ruled against the investors, but it was later overturned. The finalized ruling from the Supreme Court ordered damages ranging from as little as $6 to around $6,400 be paid to the 132 investors involved.
The court’s final ruling stated that:
“The burden or the cost of technological failures should be shouldered by the service operator, not [the] service users who pay commission for the service.”
Bithumb is the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The temporary outage came after the average amount of orders per hour suddenly doubled, bottle-necking transaction flows.
Bithumb has been under tight watch from local authorities, with a fraud investigation against the former chair of the exchange and the sudden death of one of its largest shareholders after embezzlement claims.
It is now the subject of a “special tax investigation” being conducted by the country’s National Tax Service. Authorities exploring possibilities of tax evasion raided Bithumb headquarters on Jan. 10.
Regulators in South Korea also appear to be cracking down on the broader local crypto scene. Back in November, the country began investigating cryptocurrency exchanges for listing native tokens.
After the FTX scandal, the South Korean city of Busan announced that it is dropping global crypto exchanges from its plans of onboarding third-party digital exchanges.