Upbit Operator May Follow Coinbase with Nasdaq IPO Bid – Analysts

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

South Korean analysts claim that Dunamu, the operator of the crypto exchange Upbit, could be heading for an initial public offering (IPO) – and, possibly inspired by Coinbase’s own IPO bid, may choose to launch on America’s Nasdaq exchange rather than a domestic alternative.

Source: Adobe/burdun

Per a report from Chosun, it is now “known” in the industry that Dunamu is “considering a listing on Nasdaq,” and “domestic crypto exchanges are expected to benefit from Coinbase’s listing.” The media outlet quotes unnamed sources as stating that Dunamu might hope to raise “a tenth of what Coinbase is hoping to raise” with its own, much-talked-about, direct-listing IPO.

Last week, Aju News reported that recent figures show that South Korean daily crypto transactions have hit a value of USD 14.8bn, with 70% of that taking place on Upbit’s platform. That figure is higher than the average daily amount transacted on both the KOSPI index (USD 14.2 million) and the KOSDAQ exchange (USD 9.7 billion) – a fact that could make a Dunamu float on a domestic exchange unlikely.

Again citing unnamed sources, the media outlet quoted a crypto industry insider as stating that if an IPO was to be forthcoming from Dunumu, it would likely take place before the end of 2021 as to do so would be “more efficient.” The sources agreed that if successful, Dunamu could expect to raise “at least USD 4.4bn” with its IPO.

The media outlet added that Dunamu may have done some preliminary groundwork last month by offering 186 of its employees stock options equivalent to 10% of their annual salaries.

It added that listing criteria are less rigid in the USA than in South Korea, and that crypto-related firms were viewed more favorably Stateside.

And the market research firm Research Arum’s CEO Choi Seong-hwan was quoted as stated, “If Dunamu is listed, it is more likely to choose Nasdaq than the KOSPI and KOSDAQ.”

The Shinhan Financial researcher Choi Yoo-jun agreed, and was quoted as stating that a number of South Korean firms, such as Dunamu, the e-commerce platform Market Kurly and the educational resource provider SmartStudy were all promising IPO candidates. The e-commerce platform Coupang successfully floated on the New York exchange earlier this month.

Asia Kyungjae reported that market experts are keeping a close eye on major Dunamu shareholders, including Hanwha Investment & Securities and Woori Technology Investment, whose share values have been climbing steadily as rumors of the IPO continue to circulate.

Meanwhile, Seoul Kyungjae reported that Upbit is now South Korea’s most popular crypto app, and has more users than all but one securities trading app. Some 3.1 million South Koreans now use crypto trading apps on a monthly active basis, a rise of 189% on last year, with over two-thirds of that number using Upbit’s platform.
Learn more:
Coinbase Reportedly Valued at USD 90B in a Private Auction
Sales and Income Rocket at South Korea’s Biggest Crypto Exchanges
IPOs, M&As, and New Token Sales To Bring Fresh Capital For Crypto in 2021