Bithumb Eyes Historic Milestone: Plans to Be South Korea's First Crypto Exchange Listed on Kosdaq with IPO in 2025


Bithumb, a prominent South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, is reportedly gearing up to make history by becoming the first digital asset company to undergo an initial public offering (IPO) on the Kosdaq, South Korea's equivalent of the Nasdaq. According to a report by local news outlet Edaily on November 12, Bithumb is in preparations for its IPO, tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2025.

While Bithumb has not officially confirmed the IPO, it has disclosed that it recently selected an underwriter for the process. An underwriter, in this context, is a company responsible for ensuring the financial stability of another company, typically before it goes public. According to Edaily, Samsung Securities has been chosen by Bithumb as its potential underwriter.

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Bithumb's former chairman, Lee Jeong-hoon, has returned to the company as its registered director. Meanwhile, CEO Lee Sang-jun has been excluded from a position on the board of directors due to an ongoing investigation into alleged bribery.

The decision to go public is believed to be influenced by Bithumb's strategic positioning against Upbit, South Korea's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Bithumb currently holds the second position in terms of daily trading volume in the South Korean market, trailing behind Upbit. In July, Upbit's monthly trading volumes surpassed those of major global exchanges like Coinbase and Binance for the first time.

Both Upbit and Bithumb faced scrutiny in May when South Korean authorities conducted raids on their offices, alleging fraudulent crypto trading on behalf of a local lawmaker. Earlier in February, Kang Jong-hyun, a significant shareholder in Bithumb and suspected "real owner," was arrested on embezzlement charges after a lengthy police investigation into his alleged illicit activities.

Despite these challenges, Bithumb, founded in 2014, continues to be a significant player in the cryptocurrency space, boasting a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $580 million at the time of this report, according to CoinGecko data.

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