Public Filings Link Bitstamp To Korean Gaming Firm Nexon
Following months of rumors regarding the sale of Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp to video game developer Nexon, public filings released in late May establish the strongest link yet.
Those rumors date back to the spring when sources indicated that Nexon would pay as much as $500 million for Bitstamp, one of the industry's longest-running bitcoin exchanges. Word of the acquisition also came months after Nexon bought a majority stake in crypto exchange Korbit for roughly $80 million in September 2017.
Nexon is a video game company from South Korea, famous for developing games such as FIFA Online and Counter-Strike. Founded in 1995, it moved its headquarters to Tokyo in 2005 but maintains offices in South Korea, the US, Taiwan, and Thailand. The company’s $1.2 billion initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 2011 was Japan’s largest in that year and the second largest by a technology company worldwide.
Notably, Lee Jungheon, CEO of Nexon Korea, said in the wake of that report that Nexon Korea does not have anything to do with a Bitstamp acquisition. However, a corporate disclosure submitted by Nexon Group holding company NXC and obtained by CoinDesk suggests that some kind of deal took place. NXC, Nexon Group's parent company, is 98.28 percent owned by Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and his family.
Nexon has tried its best to stay away from this news. Their representative said that Bitstamp Holdings isn't the operator of the exchange, and when asked about the relationship there, the rep said that they cannot disclose any further information at this moment.
If confirmed, the purchase of Bitstamp Japan Co., Ltd would represent the latest industry buy for the gaming company, which has released a number of titles for desktop and mobile platforms. The deal also followed a record-setting year for Nexon. The company reported more than $2 billion in revenue for 2017, an increase roughly 28 percent over the prior year's figures.