The startup aims to become the first South Korean crypto reader to list on KOSDAQ Exchange

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A South Korean crypto and blockchain startup is targeting KOSDAQ, the country’s stock exchange, and could become the country’s first publicly traded company.

The company, named Blocko, has hired one of the country’s leading financial firms – Shinhan Financial Investment – to handle the listing process as the company seeks to launch an initial public offering (IPO).

News1 reported that Blocko hopes to complete its listing on the KOSDAQ (Korean Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) sometime in 2023.

The company has already been backed by companies like steel giant POSCO, as well as Shinhan Bank. Earlier this year, it received a $3.6 million investment from Daehong Communications, a marketing arm of retail conglomerate Lotte Group. Some estimate the company’s value to be as high as $64.5 million.

Blocko is set to work on a number of non-fungible token offering (NFT) and security token (STO) related products with a number of Lotte Group affiliates, the Blocko CEO said. startup, Kim Jong-hwan.

Another backer of the conglomerate is JC, whose IT services arm CJ OliveNetworks last year hired Blocko to develop an NFT-based ticketing solution that will be able to combat counterfeiting. CJ also talked about his intention to use NFT technology in “the entertainment industry in the future”.

Crypto’s long journey to KOSDAQ

The crypto sector in South Korea has grown exponentially over the past few years, and before the onset of the crypto winter, few industries in the country were reaping profits on the same scale.

The two largest crypto exchanges in the country – Upbit and Bithumb – have both attracted considerable interest in the financial markets, with several financial analysts saying that Upbit in particular may be considering a Nasdaq listing.

Upbit has been classified as a “very large” company (along with Samsung and LG) by the South Korean market regulator. As such, most agree the company is simply too big for an IPO on the KOSDAQ.

Other smaller crypto exchanges have also been touted as possible candidates for a KOSDAQ IPO. But since the onset of the crypto winter, talk of plans like these has quickly cooled – with most crypto players posting poor quarterly results.

Founded in 2014, Blocko is one of the so-called “first generation” blockchain companies in South Korea. The company posted net income of just under $500 million last year, along with sales of $1.6 billion.

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