Bithumb eyes South Korean IPO in the second half of 2025

Monday 13 November 2023 14:53 CET | News

South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has revealed its plans to go public in the East Asian country.


According to, the exchange is targeting a listing on Kosdaq, the South Korean equivalent of Nasdaq, but is also considering the possibility of listing on the main stock market, Kospi. Samsung Securities has been selected as the manager for the IPO process, with the goal of going public in the second half of 2025, as stated by a Bithumb official. 

If successful, this would be the first IPO by a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Previous reports in 2020 suggested Bithumb's potential share sale, which was denied at that time. The move is part of Bithumb's strategy to enhance its market share and narrow the gap with Upbit, a competing exchange holding over 80% of the South Korean market. 

Despite regulatory scrutiny in 2021 by the South Korean government to address fraud and illicit activities within the crypto industry, Bithumb has faced its share of challenges. Earlier this year, Bithumb's offices were raided in connection with an investigation into the alleged price manipulation of an unspecified digital asset. 

However, the cryptocurrency trading landscape in South Korea remains robust, with Upbit surpassing global exchanges such as Coinbase and OKX in August, securing its position as the world's second-largest crypto exchange after Binance.


South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has revealed its plans to go public in the East Asian country.


Bithumb’s issues with the South Korean National Tax Service

In January 2023, the South Korean National Tax Service agency initiated an inquiry into Bithumb and its associated entities, focusing on potential tax evasion activities. The agency conducted a compliance investigation, including a raid on Bithumb's headquarters in Seoul. The probe encompassed scrutinising domestic and international transactions of Bithumb Korea, Bithumb Holdings, and affiliated entities, with a specific emphasis on potential tax evasion linked to Bithumb's ownership. 

This investigation, led by the 4th Bureau of Investigation of the Seoul Regional Tax Service, typically handling special tax cases, followed a previous inquiry into Bithumb Korea. In a previous instance, Bithumb Korea faced an investigation resulting in a fine of nearly USD 28 million for back taxes, though no findings of tax evasion were established at that time. 

In July 2022, Bithumb was raided by South Korean authorities alongside 15 other entities linked to the collapse of Terra. Back then, reports surfaced that the Joint Financial and Securities Crime Investigation Team of the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office raided the offices of Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit and Gopax as well as other businesses connected to the collapse of Terra.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency exchange, IPO, financial services
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Companies: Bithumb
Countries: Korea, Republic of
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3


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