Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is actively pursuing a milestone as the first industry-related company to list on the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (KOSDAQ). Reports from local outlet Edaily reveal that the exchange is taking concrete steps, including hiring staff and collaborating with traditional firms, to ensure a successful public listing in 2025. The goal is to become South Korea’s leading digital asset exchange by trading volume, signaling a strategic move into broader markets.
As part of this initiative, Bithumb’s largest shareholder and former Chairman, Lee Jeong-hoon, has returned to the board of directors, instilling renewed confidence in the management team. While the company has not officially confirmed its plans for the public listing, it has acknowledged the selection of Samsung Securities as the underwriter for the initial public offering (IPO), responsible for assessing the company’s financial stability.
Bithumb’s decision to go public is not solely driven by external financial needs; the company boasts substantial assets exceeding 400 billion won, significant transaction data, and substantial revenues. The move is also seen as a strategic response to recent industry challenges, such as hacks and collapses, aiming to enhance public trust in the cryptocurrency market.
With plans accelerating for the KOSDAQ listing, Jeong-hoon’s return to the board is anticipated to bring about some organizational changes. The CEO of Bithumb Holdings, Jaewon Lee, who also serves as Chief Executive of Bithumb Korea, will lead the company during this pivotal phase.
Bithumb’s aspiration to reclaim the top spot in the Korean market puts it in direct competition with Upbit, the current market leader. A successful public listing would not only provide access to institutional investors but also instill confidence in retail investors and new adopters, potentially mitigating concerns about the risks associated with crypto trading. This strategic move follows the pattern set by Coinbase’s listing in 2021, which initially experienced significant gains in assets, finances, and user numbers before facing challenges due to broader market trends and industry setbacks.
Upbit, with its strong market presence in South Korea, has temporarily surpassed Binance and Coinbase in trading volumes, experiencing substantial growth in Asian markets, further intensifying the competition in the region.