One of South Korea’s finest cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb is seeking to be in first position in the race for a public listing on South Korea’s stock market KOSDAQ.
For context, KOSDAQ is South Africa’s equivalent to the United States Nasdaq. According to local news outlet Edaily, Bithumb is preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) which is billed to happen in the second half of 2025.
Bithumb Choose Samsung as Underwriter
In the meantime, the crypto exchange has not publicly announced plans for an IPO but it has confirmed that it recently chose an underwriter. An underwriter is usually selected to guarantee the financial security of another company before going public. Specifically, Bithumb has selected Samsung Securities as its potential IPO underwriter, per Edaily’s statement.
Choosing an underwriter is a critical step for Bithumb in the public listing process, much more the choice of Samsung shows the devoutness of the exchange to the cause.
Bithumb’s Tough Competition Against Upbit
Bithumb’s decision to pursue a public listing may have been partly influenced by the growing competitive pressure in the South Korean crypto market. It is likely a strategy for the digital asset service provider to establish its market position in the region and challenge the dominance of Upbit which has the largest daily trading volume in South Korea.
Upbit is the largest crypto exchange in South Korea and the closest rival to Bithumb in the country. Markedly, Upbit recently received preliminary approval for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license in Singapore. This approval authorizes the company to offer digital payment token services to institutional investors while awaiting the issuance of its complete license.
Mainstream Financial Sector Indicates Interest in Crypto
Again, the Bithumb move underscores a recent trend of integrating digital assets in traditional financial markets.
This fusion can also be seen in the United States as institutional investors are currently rallying around Bitcoin through spot Bitcoin ETFs. Top investment asset management firms like BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, Valkyrie, and WisdomTree have filed a spot BTC ETF application with the U.S. SEC and they are now waiting for a decision from the regulator.
All of the candidates for the spot Bitcoin ETF are still waiting for either approval or disapproval from the U.S. SEC.