Bithumb planning IPO on KOSDAQ, aims for top spot in Korean crypto market

Bithumb planning IPO on KOSDAQ, aims for top spot in Korean crypto market

By Charles Thuo - min read
  • Bithumb aims to be the first crypto-related company listed on KOSDAQ.
  • Bithumb has selected Samsung Securities as the underwriter for its strategic move into traditional financial markets.
  • Former Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon has made a comeback, boosting confidence as Bithumb seeks to rebuild trust.

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is strategically positioning itself for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (KOSDAQ) by the second half of 2025, according to reports from a local news outlet.

Bithumb’s decision to go public is seen as a strategic response to recent industry challenges, such as hacks and collapses. By subjecting its operations to external validation, the company aims to build public trust in the cryptocurrency market.

Observers speculate that Bithumb’s IPO aspirations are not solely driven by external financial requirements, given the company’s substantial assets, transaction data, and revenues, exceeding 400 billion won.

With plans to reclaim the top spot in the Korean market, Bithumb’s IPO could potentially attract institutional investors and boost confidence among retail investors and new adopters.

This move follows the footsteps of Upbit, which currently holds a significant market cap in South Korea’s crypto landscape and is part of the self-regulating body known as the South Korean Blockchain Association.

IPO preparations in full swing

In its bid to become the first industry-related company listed on KOSDAQ, Bithumb has undertaken concrete steps, including the hiring of staff and onboarding traditional firms to facilitate the public listing. The move aligns with the company’s vision to secure the top spot in South Korea’s digital asset exchange market by trading volume.

Last month, Bithumb took a significant stride by selecting Samsung Securities as its underwriter for the IPO. While the company has yet to confirm the specific details of the public listing, it has acknowledged the appointment of an underwriter. This decision is indicative of Bithumb’s commitment to adhering to rigorous financial scrutiny as it ventures into the realm of traditional financial markets.

The CEO of Bithumb Holdings, Jaewon Lee, will lead the company through this strategic shift and potential listing on KOSDAQ, marking a significant development for the Korean cryptocurrency industry.

Lee Jeong-hoon returns amid strategic shift

As internal planning continues, former Chairman Lee Jeong-hoon, the largest shareholder, has returned to the board of directors. This move is aimed at instilling confidence in the management team and bringing a sense of stability as the company gears up for its IPO.

Notably, Lee Jeong-hoon had faced accusations related to fraud concerning Bithumb’s acquisition, but he was found not guilty earlier this year.