Bithumb posts 57% annual loss soon after delayed IPO

The financial loss comes days after reports of Bithumb facing potential internal issues, that led to the delay of its planned IPO.
The financial loss comes days after reports of Bithumb facing potential internal issues, that led to the delay of its planned IPO.

Bithumb Korea, the operator of the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb, posted a 57% loss in annual revenue for the fiscal year of 2023.

The Seoul-based exchange’s annual sales revenue fell 57.6% to 1.358 billion Korean won in 2023, down from 3.201 billion won in 2022, according to an April 2 report from Korean news outlet Newdaily.

Net profit fell 74.5% to 243 billion won in 2023, from 954 billion won a year prior, but remained in a surplus for the fourth consecutive year.

The main reason behind the financial losses was the decrease in the value of cryptocurrencies due to the crypto winter, according to Bithumb.

Bithumb also offered a fee-free trading policy during the fourth quarter of last year, which contributed to the exchange’s falling revenue.

The exchange focused on increasing its availability throughout South Korea last year during difficult market conditions. This year, it will continue focusing on strengthening its services to drive performance improvements, a Bithumb spokesperson told Newdaily.

The financial loss was reported on the same day announced it would launch a cryptocurrency trading app for South Korean retail investors on April 29, which could pose a threat to Bithumb’s market share in the country.

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Bithumb delays IPO

Bithumb was planning to become the first digital asset company to go public on the South Korean stock market, according to local media reports that first emerged at the beginning of November 2023.

The reports alleged that Bithumb was preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of 2025 on the Kosdaq — South Korea’s version of the Nasdaq.

The IPO rumors were confirmed as Bithumb Korea started setting up a non-exchange business to accelerate its stock market debut, according to a March 24 report by the Korea Herald.

Yet Bithumb has reconsidered its IPO ambitions after former chairman Lee Jeong-hoon’s role in the company came under scrutiny, suggesting internal issues within the company, according to a March 29 report by Decenter.

All You Need To Know About Crypto In South Korea. Source: Cointelegraph

According to Bithumb officials, the IPO wasn’t delayed due to legal issues related to chairman Lee’s role in the company but due to a reassessment of internal strategy during an evolving institutional landscape.

The surprising development comes over a month after South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) proposed a new amendment that would mandate new crypto firm executives to obtain regulatory approval before assuming their roles.

If the amendment is accepted, new executives won’t be able to work until the FSC formally approves their applications.

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