Bithumb, a South Korean crypto exchange, has not verified the planned initial public offering date. Nevertheless, it disclosed to local media that it had recently picked an underwriter.
Bithumb, a crypto exchange, intends to be the first digital asset firm to go public on the South Korean stock market. A November 12 report by a local news outlet shows that the exchange is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) on the KOSDAQ, with an anticipated listing date planned for sometime in the second half of 2025. KOSDAQ is South Korea’s version of the U.S. Nasdaq.
Bithumb Identifies Samsung Securities for IPO Underwriting
Despite Bithumb failing to verify if the initial public offering was happening, it acknowledged they had lately picked an underwriter, a firm meant to guarantee another firm’s financial security before going public. According to a report, Bithumb selected Samsung Securities as its potential initial public offering underwriter.
Sources privy to the matter revealed that Lee Jeong-hoon, Bithumb’s ex-chairman, returned to the crypto exchange as a registered director. In the meantime, Lee Sang-jun, the chief executive officer, was left out of a position on the board because of an ongoing probe into suspected corruption.
Further, the sources revealed that Bithumb’s move to go public was linked to not intending to surrender more market share to Upbit, South Korea’s biggest crypto exchange.
At present, Bithumb is South Korea’s second-biggest crypto exchange by everyday trading volume, making it a distant second after Upbit. Upbit’s monthly trading volumes exceeded Binance’s and Coinbase’s volumes for the first time in July.
Korean Authorities Heighten Crackdown on Non-Compliant Crypto Exchanges
In May, Bithumb and Upbit were subjects of unwarranted attention following South Korean authorities’ raid of their offices. The raid was linked to suspected deceitful crypto dealings on behalf of a local legislator.
In February, Kang Jong-Hyun, one of the crypto exchange’s most significant shareholders and alleged ‘true owner,’ was apprehended on misappropriation charges after a protracted police probe into his unlawful conduct.
41-year-old Jong-hyun is Kang Ji-yeon’s older brother. Additionally, Kang heads Inbiogen, Bithumb’s affiliate. The company has the most significant share in Vidente Vidente, the largest Bithumb shareholder, with a stake of 34.2%. Bithumb was established in 2014. CoinGecko’s data at publication shows that its 24-hour trading volume was nearly $580M.
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