Nexon Makes $100M Bitcoin Investment, Paves Way for Asia

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In Brief
  • Nexon invests $100 billion in BTC, equates to over ¥11 billion.

  • The investment makes Nexon the first large public company in Japan and the Koreas to have cryptocurrency as part of its treasury.

  • Kindred Ventures' Steve Jang opines that the investment will start a trend that other public companies will take seriously.

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The Nexon video game publishing firm has just invested $100 million in bitcoin (BTC).

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According to part of a press release Tweeted earlier today, the cost of Nexon’s bitcoin purchase equates to over ¥11 billion. It represents under 2% of the company’s total on-hand cash and equivalents thereof.

Nexon splashes on bitcoin

In the release, Nexon CEO and president Owen Mahoney spoke on its intentions:

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“Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets. In the current economic environment, we believe bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments.”

It’s a purchase that makes Nexon the first large public company in Japan and Korea to have cryptocurrency as part of its treasury. Or so Steve Jang stated in the first in a multiple-Tweet thread this morning.

Jang, founder of California seed-stage venture capital fund Kindred Ventures, went on to share:

“Nexon is a gaming platform exploring the multiverse possibilities and what virtual goods mean in a crypto world. organizational learning takes time and needs to permeate from many angles. the board’s move to invest in BTC can only help stoke that product exploration in gaming.”

According to Jang, who is a friend of Owen Mahoney, the company is a gaming giant, with a market cap of $30 billion. He also said that Nexon’s investment will start “a trend that other public companies will take seriously.”

His initial Tweet also included a link to an article that Mahoney wrote on MediumThe article offered a detailed explanation for Nexon’s investment, given that “Only a handful of public companies worldwide own bitcoin…”

Nexon’s other crypto investments

This investment is hardly Nexon’s first dive into the cryptocurrency pool. At the start of the year, it was reportedly in talks to buy Bithumb in a $460 million deal. However, a shareholder in Bithumb later denied those reports.

Bithumb, the largest exchange in South Korea, has since attracted the attention of the likes of Morgan Stanley for purchase. The exchange also has a history of legal issues, including a number of fraud allegations

Even so, Nexon also has controlling stakes in two other crypto exchanges. Namely, Kobit (65% shares acquired in 2017), and Bitstamp (80% shares bought in 2018 for $400 million).

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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