Bithumb, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, is actively preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) on the KOSDAQ market, the country’s version of the NASDAQ in the United States, local news outlet Edaily reported on Nov. 12.
Additionally, there is contemplation about a possible transition to the more prestigious KOSPI market.
Bithumb’s strategic maneuvers underscore its ambitions to regain market supremacy and solidify its standing as a formidable player in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market.
According to reports, the initial public offering (IPO) is anticipated to take place during the latter portion of the year 2025.
Bithumb Aims To Surpass Upbit’s Dominance In The South Korean Crypto Market
This move is primarily fueled by a competitive drive to challenge Upbit, the leading exchange in South Korea, which presently boasts an overwhelming 85% market share.
With a 10% market share at the moment, the exchange is putting itself in a position to regain prominence in the cryptocurrency trading industry.
At Bithumb, organizational reorganizations are taking place in advance of the initial public offering. The former chairman and significant stakeholder, Lee Jeong-hoon, has returned to active oversight by joining the board of Bithumb Holdings.
Given that he purportedly promised to exercise more responsible management, some have viewed his reinstatement as a director as evidence of his dedication to accountable leadership.
As of today, the market cap of cryptocurrencies reached $1.17 trillion. Chart: TradingView.com
In the meantime, allegations of encouraging coin listings led to the removal of CEO Lee Sang-jun from the board. Jaewon Lee, who serves as the CEO of Bithumb Korea, will now co-manage the CEO duties at Bithumb Holdings.
Claims Of Dirty Crypto Trading
In May, Upbit and Bithumb came under scrutiny as South Korean officials conducted raids on their premises due to allegations of illicit cryptocurrency trading on behalf of a local legislator.
In February, Kang Jong-hyun, a significant stakeholder in Bithumb, was apprehended on allegations of embezzlement after an extensive police inquiry into his purportedly unlawful conduct.
South Korea’s Dynamic Crypto Skyline
Bithumb has chosen Samsung Securities as the underwriter for its first public offering. This action is consistent with their plan to recover from scandals and regulatory hurdles that have weakened their market position.
According to CoinGecko data, Bithumb was established in 2014 and currently maintains a 24-hour trading volume of around $580 million.
South Korea’s cryptocurrency market is a dynamic force globally, driven by a tech-savvy population and robust infrastructure. Major exchanges like Upbit and Bithumb have established the country as a significant player.
The regulatory environment, balancing innovation and investor protection, contributes to a vibrant market. South Korea’s active involvement in blockchain and digital currencies, from businesses to government initiatives, underscores its influence in the evolving global crypto landscape.
Featured image from Pixabay