Bithumb sets sights on 2025 South Korean IPO on KOSDAQ amid leadership overhaul
Amid executive turbulence, Bithumb forges ahead with a strategic IPO to revamp corporate image.
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is eyeing a listing on the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (KOSDAQ) via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2025 as part of its expansion strategy, according to a local media report.
The IPO is a pivotal step for Bithumb to position itself as a formidable competitor against Upbit, a major player in the nation’s cryptocurrency market.
Bithumb has reportedly selected Samsung Securities as its underwriter for the IPO, with considerations to extend the listing to the KOSPI market.
Bithumb is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the country, with a spot trading volume of nearly $650 million, according to CoinMarketCap data.
Bithumb looks to rebuild public trust via IPO
Unlike conventional IPOs aimed at securing additional funding, Bithumb’s approach is distinct. The exchange, which boasts assets exceeding 400 billion won (approximately $300 million), aims to rebuild public trust by subjecting its governance processes and management to external verification.
This initiative follows recent challenges involving Bithumb’s leadership. In January, former Chairman Lee Jung-hoon was acquitted of a $70 million fraud case. The exchange has also faced scrutiny concerning a cryptocurrency scandal involving a Korean lawmaker.
Additionally, its majority shareholder, Kang Jong-hyun, was arrested for allegedly embezzling roughly $50 million earlier in the year.
Bithumb Holdings, the parent company, has revamped its leadership structure in anticipation of the IPO. Former Chairman Jung-hoon has been reinstated as a registered director, and Jaewon Lee has taken over as the new CEO of Bithumb Holdings, expected to spearhead the upcoming IPO.
This leadership reshuffle indicates Bithumb’s commitment to rebuilding public confidence and underscores the company’s renewed emphasis on ethical management practices.