In a recent development, Bithumb, one of South Korea’s prominent crypto exchange platforms, is reportedly gearing up for an unprecedented Initial Public Offering (IPO) on KOSDAQ.
The Bithumb IPO Journey
As reported by investment banking sources and insiders from the crypto industry, Bithumb Korea, the operating entity behind Bithumb, finalized Samsung Securities as its underwriter at the close of last month.
The Bithumb IPO groundwork has already commenced, with the targeted listing date set for the second half of 2025. Although the primary focus is on listing on the KOSDAQ, there is speculation that a switch to the more prominent KOSPI market could be on the table. Bithumb has refrained from commenting on the IPO plan but has acknowledged the selection of an underwriter.
Contrary to typical IPO scenarios driven by the need for capital injection, Bithumb’s move seems to be rooted in the urgency to regain market leadership from its top rival Upbit which currently holds a substantial 85% share. To reclaim its position at the helm of the market, Bithumb aims to enhance trust in the company, identifying it as the backbone for success.
The company’s semi-annual report for the current year reveals substantial financial product assets exceeding 400 billion won, negating the necessity for external financing. Instead, the IPO is perceived as a strategic response to the imperative of rebuilding market trust, a crucial factor in reclaiming the top position lost to Upbit.
Bithumb Undergoes Corporate Restructuring
In alignment with the IPO strategy, former Chairman Lee Jung-hoon has returned to Bithumb Holdings as a registered director, signifying a renewed commitment to responsible management.
Simultaneously, Lee Sang-jun, the CEO of Bithumb Holdings, who faced allegations of soliciting coin listings, has been excluded from the board of directors. Sang-jun’s investigation adds to the list of charges piling up against Bithumb executives, one of the key drawbacks the firm has faced in recent times.
The position of CEO at Bithumb Holdings will now be concurrently held by Jaewon Lee, the CEO of Bithumb Korea, a move believed to be in line with former Chairman Lee’s vision. As the IPO journey unfolds, former Chairman Lee is expected to exert increased control over Bithumb, leading the charge in internal consolidation efforts.
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