Europe’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange is on the block and it looks like Nexon is going to be the buyer according to unknown sources who spoke to Business Insider.
Gaming Giant Bids On Crypto Exchange
South Korean based gaming behemoth Nexon is said to be acquiring Bitstamp, the worlds first cryptocurrency exchange for $350 million according to sources close to the deal. Though neither company involved will acknowledge or deny the sale Business Insider reported the story referencing anonymous insiders.
Luxumberg based Bitstamp was founded in 2011 as the first cryptocurrency exchange in the world. Currently, it is the 13th largest exchange with 500,000 trading accounts and a 24-hour trading volume of $246 million on Tuesday, April 24 according to coin market cap.
Bitstamp was originally formed in Slovenia by CEO Nejc Kodrič in 2011. The company moved its registration to the UK in 2013 and then again to Luxumberg in 2016 where it was granted a license as a trading institution to be fully regulated in the EU and therefore able to do business in all 28 EU member states.
A representative of Bitstamp contacted in relation to the sale said only;
“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 of your inquiry.”
From Nexon’s position, the reported sale may indicate the group is looking to integrate their gaming division with the cryptocurrency space. Nexon which is based in South Korea but has divisions in Japan and the US bought a 65% interest in South Korean Bitcoin exchange Korbit last September for $80 million dollars showing that the company has a definite interest in moving towards the cryptocurrency market.
Nexon, a multi-billion dollar international group was formed in 1995 and has become the leading gaming developer in Asia. Making versions of popular games like FIFA online for the Korean and Japanese market at first, they have since expanded into original development for a wider market, including the US.
Consolidation in the Crypto Exchange Space
If news of the Bitstamp sale is true it shows an ongoing consolidation of the cryptocurrency exchange space. In late February Goldman Sachs backed Circle Internet Financial Ltd. bought out the 14th largest digital exchange, Poloniex for a reported $4oo million. “We expect to grow the Poloniex platform beyond its current incarnation as an exchange for only crypto assets,” Circle co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire wrote in the company blog after the sale was complete.
Earlier this month Monex made a $33.5 million dollar deal to acquire struggling Japanese exchange Coincheck in the wake of the companies disastrous late January hack.