Bithumb sets sights on IPO to rebalance crypto power

Bithumb gears up for a pioneering initial public offering (IPO), targeting a market shake-up against Upbit’s dominant 85% share in the virtual asset industry.

In a move that aims to disrupt Upbit’s 85% stronghold on the market, Bithumb Korea is reportedly pioneering an IPO in the virtual asset exchange industry. 

The strategy could underscore a trust-centric approach deemed crucial for regaining Bithumb’s leading position in the Korean crypto exchange space.

The IPO will reportedly occur in the latter half of 2025, with a primary focus on a KOSDAQ listing and potential considerations for the KOSPI market under specific circumstances. 

Amid the intense competition in virtual asset exchanges, Bithumb’s decision to go public appears less about raising capital and more about restoring market confidence. The exchange has a history of scandals, some of which led to regulatory inspections in South Korea.

Boadroom reshuffles

In preparation for the IPO, structural changes are underway within Bithumb’s corporate echelons. Lee Jeong-hoon, the previous chairman and major stakeholder, has marked his return to active governance by rejoining Bithumb Holdings’ board. 

His reintegration as a director has been seen by some as a testament to his commitment to responsible leadership, especially since he himself reportedly vowed to practice more responsible management.

The reshuffle also comes with the exclusion of Lee Sang-jun from the board amid controversies surrounding coin listing solicitations.

Jaewon Lee, the CEO of both Bithumb Korea and Bithumb Holdings, is now poised to steer the company toward an IPO under the guidance of former Chairman Lee.

Bithumb’s silence on the IPO specifics may reflect a strategic discretion. However, the confirmation of an underwriter suggests that wheels are in motion to usher in the new era for the exchange.

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