Major crypto exchange takes key early step to public U.S. listing with reverse merger

The path to the first publicly U.S. listed crypto exchange took a step forward with the announcement of a letter of intent (LOI) to merge Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb with OTC listed holding company Blockchain Industries (ticker BCII), according to a direct filing issued by Blockchain Industries.

Known as a reverse merger, the deal would involve Bithumb's majority owner (soon to be named Blockchain Exchange Alliance or BXA) merging with OTC listed Blockchain Industries as a single entity — emulating the path that Mike Novogratz' Galaxy Digital took to list on Canada's TSX Venture Exchange (merging with holding company Bradmer Pharmaceuticals).

According to CNBC, the newly formed entity has plans to eventually "up-list", or move out of the OTC market and list on established well-known exchanges like NYSE or Nasdaq. BXA also aims to consolidate other exchanges over the next 24 months, with "plans to have nine exchanges by the end of this year, and as many as 40 by the end of 2020," according to an investor deck seen by CNBC.

“We are thrilled to be part of this important initiative that is expected to bring liquidity, accessibility and expansion to the blockchain industry,” said Patrick Moynihan, CEO of Blockchain Industries. “By merging with BTHMB/BXA, we expect to bring more advanced technology and better compliance practices into the public marketplace via a consolidated focus.”