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13/11/2023   Bithumb plans to be first crypto exchange listed on Korea stock market: Report

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb hasn’t confirmed the planned IPO but told local media it recently selected an underwriter.

Bithumb plans to be first crypto exchange listed on Korea stock market: Report

Crypto exchange Bithumb plans to become the first digital asset company to go public on the South Korean stock market.

Local news outlet Edailyreportedon Nov. 12 that Bithumb is getting ready for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Kosdaq — South Korea’s version of the United States Nasdaq — with an expected listing date set for sometime in the second half of 2025.

Bithumb declined to confirm whether the IPO was going ahead but admitted it had recently selected an underwriter, which is a company tasked with guaranteeing the financial security of another typically before a firm goes public. Bithumb chose Samsung Securities as its potential IPO underwriter, according to Edaily.

Bithumb’sformer chairman, Lee Jeong-hoon, returned to Bithumb as its registered director, according to sources familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, CEO Lee Sang-jun was excluded from a place on the board of directors due to an ongoing investigation into alleged bribery.

Additionally, the sources claimed Bithumb’s move to go public resulted from not wanting to give up further market share to Upbit — the largest crypto exchange in South Korea.

Bithumb iscurrentlythe second-largest crypto exchange in South Korea by daily trading volume, a distant second to Upbit. In July,Upbit’s monthly trading volumes surpassedthat of Coinbase and Binance for the first time.

Both Upbit and Bithumbbecame the subjects of unwanted attentionin May when South Korean authorities raided their offices over allegedly fraudulent crypto trading on behalf of a local lawmaker.

In February, Kang Jong-hyun, one of Bithumb’s largest shareholders — and suspected “real owner” —was arrested on embezzlement chargesfollowing a lengthy police investigation into his allegedly illicit behavior.

41-year-old Jong-hyun is the elder brother of Kang Ji-yeon, the head of Bithumb affiliate Inbiogen. The firm holds the largest share in Vidente, the biggest Bithumb shareholder, with a 34.2% stake.

Bithumb was founded in 2014 and, at the time of publication, had a 24-hour trading volume of roughly $580 million,accordingto CoinGecko data.

Number of Bitcoin millionaire wallets triples in 2023

Over 81,000 wallet addresses now hold $1 million or more worth of Bitcoin.

Number of Bitcoin millionaire wallets triples in 2023

The number of crypto wallet addresses holding more than $1 million in Bitcoin has more than tripled this year.

BitInfoChartsdatashows the number of addresses with more than $1 million in BTC increased from 23,795 on Jan. 1 to 81,925 currently, a 237% increase in the last 11 months.

6a909bb7-1da0-4197-9869-ec4acad67c0c.pngCurrently, 81,925 wallet addresses hold more than $1 million in BTC. Source: BitInfoCharts

The millionaire wallets are not one-to-one with individual users, as many addresses with more than $1 million BTC belong to crypto exchanges and financial institutions.

Comparativedatafrom Glassnode shows the number of addresses holding more than $1 million in Bitcoin peaked during the top of the last bull market in November 2021, posting a record 112,573 addresses on Nov. 9, 2021, the day before Bitcoin notched its all-time high of $69,000 on Nov. 10, 2021.

The number of “millionaire” Bitcoin wallets has grown by more than 237% since the beginning of the year. Source: Glassnode

Meanwhile, the number of so-called “wholecoiners” — wallets with a balance of at least 1 BTC — hasincreased slightly since the beginningof the year. Currently, there are 1,018,015 such addresses, a 4% increase from 978,197 on Jan. 1.

6da0b97e-d8eb-42ac-9d81-4e7c52e65926.pngThe number of wholecoiners increased by 4% from Jan. 1 this year. Source: Glassnode

The largest increase in wholecoiners since 2018 occurred between April and December last year, showing a strong accumulation trenddespite a broader price decline resultingfrom a slew ofhigh-profile crypto industry meltdowns.

Bitcoin is currently changing hands for nearly $37,100, up 38% over the last month. Bitcoin’s price has beenbuoyed by market enthusiasmfor multiple pending spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) products.

Bloomberg ETF analysts claim there’s a 90% chance a spot Bitcoin ETF will be approved by Jan. 10, with many expecting a significant price rally to follow.

I've gotten a lot of questions regarding my current view on Spot#BitcoinETFs over the last couple weeks. This is the first section of the note I put out yesterday with@EricBalchunas.

TLDR: Our view hasn't changed much

— James Seyffart (@JSeyff)October 13, 2023

Despite the market’s bullish sentiment,not all analysts are convincedthat a spot Bitcoin ETF approval will launch the next bull run.

CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng claimed that, while an approval would be a positive for the crypto industry, both Bitcoin and the wider macro landscape lack the required fundamentals to justify an all-out trend reversal.