Nexon CEO Denies $350 Million Bitstamp Acquisition Negotiations

News | April 26, 2018 By:

South Korean gaming giant Nexon has denied rumors that the company is considering the acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp.

Last month, it was reported that a group of South Korean investors was in discussions to acquire Bitstamp. Yesterday, Business Insider reported that the possible buyer is Nexon, and that the deal is likely to be around $350 million. The publication also revealed that Bitstamp had been involved in at least one other sale process previously, but did not disclose any further detail.

Addressing the Business Insider report, Nexon CEO Lee Jung-hun denied the rumor and said that the company does not have anything to do with a Bitstamp acquisition.

“We do not have any plans to link cryptocurrencies with our game business,” Lee said, adding that this does not mean Nexon is ruling out the use of blockchain in its game development efforts, as the distributed ledger technology has many potential applications to games.

Founded in Seoul in 1994 by Kim Jung-ju, Nexon is a video game company that specializes in online games for PC and mobile. It services over 80 titles in over 190 countries. In 2005, the company moved its headquarters from Seoul, South Korea to Tokyo, Japan. Nexon went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 14, 2011 in an initial public offering, the largest in Japan for 2011 and the second-largest by a technology company for 2011 worldwide. NXC Corp., the parent company of Nexon, currently owns South Korea’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, Korbit.

Founded in 2011 as a European-focused bitcoin exchange, Bitstamp became the world’s oldest-surviving exchange last year when China-based BTCC shut its doors after the country banned crypto trading platforms. It is the tenth-busiest crypto exchange as of now, with $444 million in 24-hour trading volume, according to coinmarketcap.com.

If Bitstamp will indeed be acquired by unknown Korean investors, it would be the third major acquisition deal in the crypto space this year. In February, Circle Internet Financial Ltd. bought out Poloniex, the 14th-largest crypto exchange, for a reported $400 million. Earlier this month, Japanese financial services firm Monex Group acquired full ownership of crypto exchange Coincheck for 3.6 billion yen ($33.5M USD).