South Korean crypto and blockchain startups are taking aim KOSDAQthe country’s stock exchange, and could be the country’s first public company.
Company, name Blockhas hired one of the country’s top financial firms – Shinhan Financial Investment – to manage the listing process as the company seeks to launch an initial public offering (IPO).
News 1 reported that Blocko hopes to complete its listing on KOSDAQ (Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) sometime in 2023.
The company has previously been backed by the steel giant POSCOalso Shinhan Bank. Earlier this year, received an investment boost of USD 3.6 million from Daehong Communicationretail conglomerate marketing affiliate Lotte Group. Some estimate the company’s value could be as high as $64.5 million.
Blocko is set to work with some non-fungible tokens (NFT) and security token offering (STO)-related products with several Lotte Group affiliates, said the startup’s CEO Kim Jong-hwan.
apart backer of the conglomerate CJwhich is the IT services arm CJ Olive Networks last year signed Blocko to develop an NFT-based ticketing solution that will work against counterfeiting. CJ has also talked about plans to use NFT technology in the “entertainment business of the future.”
Crypto’s Long Journey to KOSDAQ
South Korea’s crypto sector has grown exponentially in the past few years, and before the start of the crypto season, few industries in the country have achieved profits of similar size.
The two largest crypto exchanges in the country – Upbit and Bithumb – both have attracted a lot of interest in the financial markets, with financial analysts claiming Upbit in particular maybe mulling a Nasdaq register.
Upbit already classified as a “very large” company (in the same category as the likes Samsung and LG) by the South Korean market regulator. So, most agree that the company is simply too big to IPO on KOSDAQ.
Other smaller crypto exchanges are also said to be candidates for the KOSDAQ IPO. But since the beginning of the crypto season, talk of such plans has cooled rapidly – with most crypto players posting poor quarterly results.
Founded in 2014, Blocko is one of South Korea’s “first generation” blockchain companies. The company generated a net profit of less than USD 500 million in net profit last year, along with sales of USD 1.6 billion.