Bithumb revenue halves as Kosdaq IPO plans shelved

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb reported a drop in annual revenue for the fiscal year 2023, with a 57% decline on a yearly basis.


Based in Seoul, the exchange saw its annual sales revenue decrease to 1.358 billion Korean won in 2023, down from 3.201 billion won in 2022. The net profit for Bithumb also took a hit, falling 74.5% to 243 billion won in 2023 from the previous year’s 954 billion won, although the exchange still managed to report a surplus for the fourth consecutive year.

Bithumb attributed the financial downturn to the fall in cryptocurrency prices due to the prolonged crypto winter. Additionally, the exchange’s revenue was impacted by its decision to implement a fee-free trading policy during the last quarter of the previous year.

Despite these challenges, Bithumb continued to expand its presence throughout South Korea over the past year, adapting to the difficult market conditions.

Bithumb’s financial woes coincide with the announcement from about its upcoming launch of a cryptocurrency trading app for South Korean retail investors on April 29, intensifying competition in the domestic market.

Furthermore, Bithumb’s aspirations to become the first digital asset company to go public on the South Korean stock market have been put on hold. Initial reports suggested an IPO on the Kosdaq in the second half of 2025, confirmed by preparations for a non-exchange business to facilitate the stock market debut. At the time, Bithumb appointed Samsung Securities as its underwriter for the potential listing, aiming to list on Kosdaq, South Korea’s equivalent to the Nasdaq.

However, recent developments and scrutiny over former chairman Lee Jeong-hoon’s involvement with the company have led Bithumb to reassess its IPO strategy. Additionally, recent rules proposed by South Korea’s Financial Services Commission require new crypto firm executives to secure regulatory approval before assuming their roles.

Bithumb’s IPO plans, while being the first of its kind for a Korean crypto exchange, are not just about market expansion. The exchange, holding assets over 400 billion won (about $300 million), is looking to rebuild public trust after it faced, along with other exchanges, government scrutiny, including a raid on its offices last year.