Bitstamp Crypto Exchange Ownership Change Looks to Be Just the Start of Management Shakeups
Management Shakeup On The Cards For Crypto Exchange Bitstamp
In the world of cutthroat competition, a stark reality is the lack of job security, and even top management is not exempt from this. According to sources, the EU licensed online currency exchange hub, Bitstamp is expected to announce a management reshuffle.
The exchange has recently been acquired by NXMH, an investment company based in Belgium, that is itself owned by NXC, a South Korean conglomerate. This is not wholly unexpected as such acquisitions are usually followed by a change in direction, leading to a fresh leadership.
Information sourced through regulatory filings with the UK Companies House shows that days after Bitstamps sale there has been a slew of departures and arrivals of executives. Though unconfirmed at this stage, it seems that co-founder Damian Merlak and Chairman Dan Morehead are no longer part of the firm. Bitstamp has not released any statements nor have they responded to any requests for a comment on this matter.
It is still unknown as to what the sale price was or even specific terms of the deal. What is known, though official channels, is that Bitstamps CEO, Nejc Kodric, will continue at his current designation and hold a minority stake in the company he once helped found. On the other hand, the majority stake, about 80 percent is now with NXC. Furthermore, NXMH’s investment manager Hendrik Ghys has been deputized to Bitstamps board and another executive, Jong Hyun Hong has also been hired there.
Such changes are often accompanied by other internal moves, as desired by the new owners. However, the two likely departures are key members of the team. Dan Morehead, with over 30 years of experience in finance, had joined in 2014. His impressive resume spanned several key roles in the management of global macro funds, macro trading, and investment advisory services. The other, Damian Merlak had been the main decision maker since he co-founded the exchange back in 2011.
Unsurprisingly, the news of the takeover has received a wide spectrum of reactions from different market observers and the keen followers of the crypto sphere. Positive feedback from certain segments focused on how this sale would strengthen the hands of a nascent industry, better preparing it to deal with regulations and bureaucracy. The flip side that many commented on was the fear of expansion into markets that the firm is not entirely familiar with.
Some might remember that earlier in the year, Bitstamp had marked seven successful years. In an industry that has been plagued with scams and hacks, this long-running crypto venture was duly celebrated for its operations. In fact even now, as per Coinmarketcap data, in terms of total trade volume, they are still ranked 45th. Back in 2016, in a masterful publicity coup, they were able to obtain a license which allowed them to work as a fully regulated payment institution in Luxembourg. This paved the way for them to be able to claim and become the first fully licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Europe.
While it will be unfair to claim this latest development to be indicative of a fall from grace, a change like this could be a shot in the arm or a shot in the head. One awaits to see how this story pans out.