Crypto Exchange Bithumb Plans South Korea IPO in Second-Half 2025: Report

Bithumb is aiming to close the market-share gap with fellow exchange Upbit, which has over 80% of the South Korean market.

AccessTimeIconNov 13, 2023 at 10:10 a.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb plans to go public in its native South Korea, according to reports by local news outlets on Monday.

The exchange aims to list on Kosdaq, the South Korean counterpart to Nasdaq, though it is also open to an initial public offering (IPO) on the country's main stock market, the Kospi, The Korea Herald reported, citing a Bithumb official.

"We selected Samsung Securities as our manager for initial public offering. We aim to go public during the second half of 2025," the official said.

The IPO would mark the first such listing by a Korean crypto exchange. There were reports in 2020 that Bithumb was considering a share sale, though it denied them at the time. Bithumb is aiming to boost its market share and close the gap on fellow exchange Upbit, which has more than 80% of the South Korean market.

South Korea's government set upon a crackdown of the crypto industry in 2021 in an attempt to tackle fraud and other illegal activities. Bithumb's offices were raided at the start of this year as part of a probe into price manipulation of an unspecified digital asset.

Crypto trading in South Korea remains healthy, however, with Upbit surpassing Coinbase and OKX in August to become the world's second-largest crypto exchange after Binance.

Neither Bithumb nor Samsung Securities responded to CoinDesk's request for comment .

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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