South Korea-based Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange is among the oldest and trusted of names in the world of cryptocurrencies. The platform might soon be going public in the US Markets, thanks to a reverse merger. This information comes via reports from CNBC, which point out that Singapore-based BTHMB Holdings, (which owns a majority stake in Bithumb) is planning to acquire Blockchain Industries, a publicly-traded company in the US Over-the-Counter (OTC) markets.
Blockchain Industries has already announced this news, stating that they have signed a binding letter with BTHMB Holdings (which is now being renamed as Blockchain Exchange Alliance). Basically, Bithumb plans to go public via a ‘Reverse Merger’. This is a technique where a publicly traded company is acquired by a company which is intending to go public, which has often been seen as a faster way to take a company public than compared to an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Once this merger properly takes place, the combined company will then look towards getting uplist from the OTC markets to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
CNBC points out that BTHMB Holdings was considering going public in Singapore - but that is a process which might take the company up to 2 years to complete as per the local regulations. Following the merger, Blockchain Exchange Alliance would hold the majority stake in the combined company.
If this deal becomes a success, it would make it the first-ever publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange company. However, it won’t be the first-ever crypto-related firm to enter the stock markets. In the past, a similar reverse merger route was also taken by hedge-fund manager Mike Novogratz, who merged crypto-startup Coin Capital with Bradmer Pharmaceuticals, which was a publicly listed company in Canada. The two companies merged, were renamed ‘Galaxy Digital Holdings’ and were listed on Canada’s TSX stock exchange.
Reports from CNBC indicate that Blockchain Exchange Alliance, while currently being all about Bitcoin and crypto exchanges, actually has a vision for the future. The company plans to consolidate exchanges from around the world, targeting nine cryptocurrency exchanges by the end of this year - and 40 exchanges by the end of 2020!
The Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange is the second largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, but the exchange has been known for notoriously bloating up its volume statistics in the past. In December 2018, reports from CER had alleged that Bithumb’s data is being fudged, allegedly faking 90% of its volume - also claiming that the exchange was indulging in wash trading. In June 2018, Bithumb was attacked by hackers, ending up losing $31 Million.
Crypto-companies have been eyeing IPO listings for quite some time now. Cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturers Bitmain and Canaan Creative have been trying to get listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for quite some time. While Canaan has been rejected more than once, it appears that Bitmain’s plans to get public have also hit a roadblock of late. Recent reports have pointed out that Canaan is now expected to try and get listed on the NYSE.
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