Bithumb Owner Turns to Stock Market as it Builds a New Crypto Giant
Owner of major cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb just struck an important deal in attempt to build a new crypto giant.
Singapore-based BTHMB HOLDINGS (to be renamed as Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA,) the majority owner of the South-Korea based exchange, agreed to merge with another holding company Blockchain Industries (BI) by March 1, BI announced on Tuesday. The new entity aims to become the first publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange company in the world.
Blockchain Industries already trades on the public OTC (over the counter) market in the US. Therefore, the recent deal will allow to conduct a so-called reverse merger that will help the combined company the get listed much faster than would be possible with a traditional initial public offering (IPO).
The new entity is planning a public listing on either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq exchange in the US, CNBC reported, citing undisclosed sources.
Getting listed through a reverse merger is a rather unconventional technique to quickly list a company on a public stock exchange. The same technique was also used by well-known crypto bull Mike Novogratz last year when he listed his company Galaxy Digital on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange through a reverse takeover of Canadian shell company Bradmer Pharmaceuticals.
Also, according to an investor deck seen by CNBC, Blockchain Exchange Alliance is also looking to buy up and consolidate the crypto exchange industry world-wide, hence the name “Exchange Alliance.” The group reportedly aims to control nine crypto exchanges by the end of 2019, and up to 40 exchanges by the end of 2020.
"BXA is a global exchange alliance and the United States is a key factor to any global initiative," Dr. Kim Byung-gun, CEO of BXA, was quoted as saying in the press release. "By unifying our businesses, we benefit from the focused expertise of Blockchain Industries. As a result, we have tremendous growth opportunities in this region, and we expect quality results from this in North America."
Both companies expect that this potential transaction would result in a “unified, more secure global exchange platform with a broad capability to support emerging blockchain e-commerce, payments, and other digital finance functions.”
Top 10 markets on Bithumb:
Meanwhile, in November, BXA said that the acquisition of Bithumb, that has more than 4.3 million registered users, will be leveraged upon by BXA to expand globally.
Affiliated and acquired exchanges within the alliance will share their order books, connecting traders from different exchanges into a cohesive, highly liquid market, the company said.
According to the announcement in November, BXA was planning to open 8 localized cryptocurrency exchange platforms around the world, namely US, UK, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, Mexico, Peru and Hong Kong. They also intend to use distributed centralised exchange ("DCEX") model that would enable localised fiat crypto asset trading while connecting the different localised exchanges into a single platform.
Moreover, Bithumb aims to open a securities token exchange in the US, while BXA will also extend additional financial services such as OTC trading, Futures, Options, Derivatives, and Margin Trading for the crypto asset markets.
For real-world usage of crypto assets, BXA also aims to support day-to-day payment transactions with physical infrastructure for crypto assets to be used. According to the company, such infrastructure will be made available globally, and include familiar technology such as payment kiosks, debit cards, and mobile wallets.
Kim Byung-gun of BK Medical, one of South Korea’s leading plastic surgery clinics, indirectly became the majority owner of Bithumb last October.