Recent reports unveil Bithumb, a prominent South Korean crypto exchange, is gearing up for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on KOSDAQ, with the aim of regaining market share from its primary competitor, Upbit.
Bithumb IPO Journey
Sources from investment banking and the crypto industry indicate that Bithumb Korea has selected Samsung Securities as its underwriter for the upcoming IPO. The groundwork for the IPO has commenced, with a targeted listing date in the second half of 2025.
Moreover, while the primary focus is on KOSDAQ, there’s speculation about a potential switch to the more prominent KOSPI market. Bithumb has refrained from commenting on the IPO plan but confirmed the selection of an underwriter.
Strategic Focus on Market Leadership
Unlike typical IPO scenarios driven by capital needs, Bithumb’s move is seen as a strategic response to reclaiming market leadership from Upbit, which currently holds an 85% market share. The company aims to rebuild trust and position itself as the key to success.
Moreover, the company’s semi-annual report for the current year indicates significant financial assets, surpassing 400 billion won, eliminating the need for external financing.
Corporate Restructuring in Line with IPO Strategy
As part of the IPO strategy, former Chairman Lee Jung-hoon has returned to Bithumb Holdings as a registered director, signaling a renewed commitment to responsible management.
Simultaneously, Lee Sang-jun, the CEO of Bithumb Holdings, faced allegations of soliciting coin listings, and has been excluded from the board of directors. This move aligns with a series of charges against Bithumb executives, a significant challenge for the firm.
Leadership Changes and Internal Consolidation
Jaewon Lee, the CEO of Bithumb Korea, will now concurrently hold the position of CEO at Bithumb Holdings, aligning with the vision of former Chairman Lee.
Further, as the IPO journey unfolds, industry observers anticipate that former Chairman Lee will increase his control over the company spearheading internal consolidation efforts.