Bithumb as Korea’s First Stock Exchange-Listed Crypto Exchange

Bithumb, a South Korean crypto exchange, informed local media that it recently chose an underwriter but has not yet confirmed the IPO.

Bithumb as Korea's First Stock Exchange-Listed Crypto Exchange

Bithumb intends to record its initial public offering (IPO) on the South Korean stock exchange, becoming the first digital asset company to do so.

On November 12, the local news outlet Edaily reported that Bithumb is preparing to list on the KOSDAQ, which is equivalent to the Nasdaq in the United States. The IPO is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2025.

Bithumb declined to confirm the progress of the initial public offering (IPO) but acknowledged that they had recently appointed an underwriter.

An underwriter is a third-party entity responsible for ensuring the financial stability of a company, typically prior to the IPO.

According to Edaily, Bithumb selected Samsung Securities as its prospective IPO underwriter.

Lee Jeong-hoon, the former chairman of Bithumb, reportedly rejoined the company as a registered director, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Concurrently, an ongoing investigation into alleged bribery resulted in the exclusion of CEO Lee Sang-jun from the board of directors.

Furthermore, according to the sources, Bithumb’s decision to go public was motivated by a desire to prevent further market share loss to Upbit, the largest crypto exchange in South Korea.

Bithumb ranks second to Upbit as the second largest crypto exchange in South Korea in terms of daily trading volume.

Monthly trading volumes on Upbit surpassed that of Coinbase and Binance for the first time in July.

In May, South Korean authorities conducted raids on the offices of Upbit and Bithumb, purportedly because of fraudulent crypto trading on behalf of a local lawmaker.

This unwelcome attention brought unwanted circumstances to both platforms.

One of the largest shareholders of Bithumb and the presumed “real owner,” Kang Jong-hyun, was detained in February on embezzlement charges after an extensive police inquiry into his purportedly unlawful activities.

41-year-old Jong-hyun is the older sibling of Kang Ji-yeon, who serves as the CEO of Inbiogen, an affiliate of Bithumb.

With a 34.2% stake, the firm owns the greatest portion of Vidente Vidente, the largest shareholder of Bithumb.

CoinGecko data indicates that Bithumb, established in 2014, had a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $580 million at the time of publication.