A South Korean business executive has been granted bail as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged market manipulation at cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb. The Seoul Central District Court granted bail on July 12 after Choi Won-pyeong, the owner of Chosun, had been arrested in June over charges of manipulating investor sentiment by making false statements about the company. Choi and another man are suspected of having conspired to artificially inflate the stock prices of CIT Solutions, parent company of Bithumb. The alleged market manipulation is thought to have taken place between April and June, during which time Bithumb’s market position grew significantly. Bithumb is one of the largest and most popular crypto exchanges in South Korea and is known for its positive trading volumes, but has been hit with several issues in recent months. In May, customers of the exchange reported losses of $30 million in a hacking attack, while another hacking incident was reported in June. The market manipulation case is still ongoing, and unlike in the US, where traders are protected to a certain degree, it’s unclear if similar regulations and protection would apply in the South Korean market.
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