Markets News Report
November 13, 2023

Bithumb Sets Sights on Becoming the First Crypto Exchange on Korean Stock Market

In Brief

South Korea’s Bithumb aims to become the first digital asset company to go public on the South Korean stock market with an IPO.

Bithumb Sets Sights on Becoming the First Crypto Exchange on Korean Stock Market

In a bold move, South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is gearing up to become the first digital asset company to go public on the South Korean stock market. 

While the exchange has not officially confirmed its plans for an initial public offering (IPO), recent reports suggest a significant step toward this groundbreaking milestone.

Bithumb’s Bold IPO Aspiration Grabs Eyeballs

Bithumb is preparing for an IPO on the KOSDAQ, South Korea’s equivalent of the United States Nasdaq. The anticipated listing date is speculated to fall in the second half 2025. This move marks a pivotal moment in the cryptocurrency industry, signaling a bridge between the crypto and traditional financial markets.

Though Bithumb has yet to make an official announcement regarding the IPO, it has reportedly chosen Samsung Securities as its potential underwriter. The return of Bithumb’s former chairman, Lee Jeong-hoon, as its registered director adds an intriguing layer to the unfolding narrative. 

Simultaneously, CEO Lee Sang-jun’s exclusion from the board of directors due to an ongoing bribery investigation raises questions about the internal dynamics shaping Bithumb’s strategic decisions.

Korea’s Competitive Crypto Landscape

Insiders hint that Bithumb’s strategic move towards an initial public offering (IPO) is a strategic response to Korea’s competitive landscape, particularly the challenges posed by Upbit, South Korea’s premier cryptocurrency exchange. 

Notably, Upbit outpaced industry giants Coinbase and Binance in monthly trading volumes in July. Faced with the prospect of losing ground to its rival, Bithumb is positioning itself through the IPO to fortify its standing and resist further erosion of its market share. 

The crypto exchange appears keen on leveraging the IPO as a proactive measure to navigate the evolving dynamics of the crypto market and maintain a competitive edge in the rapidly changing landscape.

Regulatory Scrutiny and Past Controversies

Both Bithumb and Upbit faced regulatory scrutiny in May when South Korean authorities raided their offices over alleged fraudulent crypto trading on behalf of a local lawmaker. Past controversies, including the arrest of Kang Jong-hyun, one of Bithumb’s major shareholders, have added layers of complexity to the exchange’s journey.

Founded in 2014, Bithumb has emerged as the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea by daily trading volume. As Bithumb ventures into uncharted territory with its IPO aspirations, industry observers will closely monitor its strategic moves and leadership changes.

The outcome of this ambitious endeavor could potentially reshape the landscape for cryptocurrency exchanges globally, bridging the gap between the digital and traditional financial realms.

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About The Author

Anya is a seasoned IT writer with a passion for exploring cutting-edge topics in the tech industry, including generative AI, Web3 gamification, and large language models (LLMs). Holding a degree in interpretation, she possesses a unique blend of linguistic expertise and technical acumen. Her inquiring mind and extensive experience allow her to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technological innovation. Anya is dedicated to uncovering insights and trends across diverse language segments of the Internet, bringing a visionary perspective to her work. Through her articles, she aims to bridge the gap between complex IT concepts and a global audience, making technology accessible and engaging for readers worldwide.

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Anna Sharygina
Anna Sharygina

Anya is a seasoned IT writer with a passion for exploring cutting-edge topics in the tech industry, including generative AI, Web3 gamification, and large language models (LLMs). Holding a degree in interpretation, she possesses a unique blend of linguistic expertise and technical acumen. Her inquiring mind and extensive experience allow her to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of technological innovation. Anya is dedicated to uncovering insights and trends across diverse language segments of the Internet, bringing a visionary perspective to her work. Through her articles, she aims to bridge the gap between complex IT concepts and a global audience, making technology accessible and engaging for readers worldwide.

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