Bithumb, a leading South Korean crypto exchange, is preparing to go public in its home country, the local news outlet MoneyToday reported on Wednesday.
The crypto exchange’s operator Bithumb Korea also hired Samsung Securities as the underwriter for the initial public offering (IPO).
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If true, this will be Bithumb’s second attempt to go public, as last year it tried to list its shares on a United States’ exchange with a reverse merger, but failed at last.
Last month, the crypto exchange promoted Back Young Heo as its new chief executive officer, who also had the experience of running the exchange earlier.
The exchange’s troubles
According to an anonymous source of the local publication, the exchange’s attempt to list its shares on a stock exchange might not be a smooth process given the “marketability and valuation issues” and also the traditional market’s hostility towards the future of crypto.
Bithumb was slapped with a $69 million bill last year by the Korean tax authority as outstanding taxes. But the exchange dragged the issue to court and appealed against the order, which is now pending with an appellate court.
South Korea is slowly streaming its efforts to properly tax cryptocurrencies as its Finance Minister said that the government will reveal details next month.
Despite being South Korea’s largest crypto exchange, Bithumb’s operations are still opaque to the public.
Bithumb Holdings is reportedly the largest shareholder of Bithumb Korea with 74.1 percent of its shares, but details of the holding company’s owners are still unknown.
The crypto exchange also posted $30.5 million in profits for 2019, pivoting from $170 million in losses for the previous year. This might create a demand in the shares of the crypto exchange if it succeeds to go public.