Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp could be purchased by South Korean video game developer Nexon. Rumors have been swelling for months, but now the sale appears official according to anonymous sources.
A Little Company History
Nexon is well-known for building video games like FIFA and Counter-Strike. Founded in 1995, it maintains offices in South Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., and Thailand, but moved its official headquarters to Tokyo in 2005. It currently owns 65 percent of the cryptocurrency exchange Korbit, and hosted a $1.2 billion USD initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange – the second-largest amongst the world’s leading tech companies.
Bitstamp is the tenth busiest cryptocurrency exchange, witnessing nearly $450 million in cryptocurrency trades every 24 hours. It was originally founded in Slovenia by Nejc Kodric, but moved its registration to the U.K. and is now headquartered in Luxembourg. In 2016, it became the first nationally-licensed crypto exchange in Europe, and at roughly seven years old, it is the “eldest” of the globe’s exchanges. The company currently boasts half-a-million active trading accounts.
In addition, Bitstamp was one of the first platforms to offer Bitcoin debit cards. It partnered with Swiss brokerage firm Swissquote in the summer of last year so the firm’s customers could garner access to bitcoin trading.
Who Knew This Was Happening?
The news was first brought to the public’s attention by The New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper. The reporter posted the following message on Twitter:
“Along with all the other news about virtual currency exchanges, I’ve heard from numerous sources that one of the oldest exchanges, Bitstamp, is in the final stages of being sold to South Korean investors for ~$400m. Neither the exchange nor the buyers are commenting.”
The data was later confirmed by Business Insider, which reported via anonymous sources that the buyer was Nexon, and that executives were paying a total of $350 million to complete the sale.
Staying Hush-Hush for the Time Being
Bitstamp, strangely, is staying relatively quiet about the situation. When pressed, a representative issued the following words regarding the transfer:
“I am not in the position to comment on the matter. We kindly ask you to keep an eye out for any official statement from our side on the topic.”
If it really does actualize, the deal is slated to be the third largest acquisition deal in the crypto space this year after blockchain payments startup Circle acquired Poloniex in Feburary, and the Monex Group took over Coincheck following a hack that resulted in over half-a-billion USD in NEM coins disappearing overnight.
Are we likely to see acquisition deals in the crypto space continue? Post your comments below.
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