Dunamu open to Nasdaq listing – Korea Times

Dunamu CEO Lee Sirgoo speaks during a press conference held through the company's 2ndblock metaverse platform, Tuesday. Courtesy of Dunamu
Dunamu CEO Lee Sirgoo speaks during a press conference held through the company’s 2ndblock metaverse platform, Tuesday. Courtesy of Dunamu

Upbit operator wants to affiliate with Woori Bank

By Park Jae-hyuk

Dunamu, the operator of Upbit cryptocurrency exchange, did not rule out the possibility of going public on the Nasdaq market, emphasizing the company’s ambitious plan to expand its presence in the United States and other countries by 2025.

“Although we had never prepared for the Nasdaq listing, representatives from multiple investment banks and accounting firms visited us, following the news earlier this year that we would go to the U.S. stock market as Coupang and Coinbase did, so we had meetings with them,” Dunamu CEO Lee Sirgoo said in Tuesday’s press conference held through the company’s 2ndblock metaverse platform. “For our investors, we will go public someday.”

The CEO added that his company has yet to make any specific plans about the potential initial public offering (IPO), but the likelihood of Dunamu’s U.S. listing has increased, considering that he mentioned global expansion as one of the firm’s four most important goals.

Announcing that Dunamu’s operating profit surpassed 2.5 trillion won ($2.1 billion) during the first three quarters of this year, Lee said the profit will be partially used next year for investments and to hire new workers for the company’s businesses abroad.

“We want to enter foreign markets as soon as possible, but there remains a ban on overseas remittance through domestic cryptocurrency exchanges,” he said. “As we agreed recently with HYBE to establish a joint venture for the non-fungible token (NFT) business in the U.S., we think this could be a breakthrough.”

The chief executive also viewed criticisms of Upbit’s significantly high market share as narrow-minded, saying the negative comments have been based only on the trading volume of the nation’s top four cryptocurrency exchanges.

“From users’ perspective, there are various alternatives available, as investors can send their cryptocurrencies through overseas exchanges,” he said.

Lee supported the National Assembly’s decision to postpone taxation on earnings from cryptocurrency transactions until 2023, saying that guidelines and systems are still insufficient to impose such taxes starting next year. However, he basically agreed to the principle of imposing taxes on incomes.

Dunamu Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nam Seung-hyeon said the company hopes Woori Bank provides Upbit with the government-mandated real-name accounts, in light of Dunamu’s recent acquisition of a 1 percent stake in Woori Financial Group for around 100 billion won.

“Woori proposed the investment, and we made the decision as we viewed this as a good opportunity from a financial perspective,” Nam said. “If possible, we want to affiliate with other banks as well as Woori, for the convenience of our customers.”

The CFO, however, denied the possibility of cutting ties with K bank, which has been providing Upbit with real-name accounts.

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