Nexon, one of the largest gaming companies in South Korea and the world, has announced that it will be acquiring the Bithumb cryptocurrency exchange for approximately 500 billion won, approximately $460 million.
South Korean agency Maekyung broke the news, stating that Nexon and Bithumb have officially signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to kickstart the process
The deal will result in Nexon acquiring a ~65% stake in the Bithumb exchange. Bithumb is currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea, so the acquisition may be a natural fit for both companies.
Not Nexon’s First Foray Into Cryptocurrency
If the deal goes through, this will be Nexon’s third acquisition of a major cryptocurrency exchange. The gaming giant is quickly becoming one of the most dominant players in the crypto exchange space.
Nexon also owns other popular exchanges like Bitstamp and Korbit. Bithumb has reportedly been looking to offload ownership to a buyer for some time. Another firm almost acquired it in 2018, though, it may finally have found an ideal buyer in Nexon.
The Deal Is Not Guaranteed
Although an MOU has already been signed, it doesn’t guarantee that the deal will reach completion.
There are still uncertainties surrounding the management practices at Bithumb. South Korea’s Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency investigated the exchange and its chairman Lee Jung Hoon in September.
Authorities accused the firm of selling its native cryptocurrency, BXA, without listing the coin. Bithumb allegedly sold 30 billion won in tokens, almost $30 million, causing heavy investor losses after not listing the coin.
Institutional Money Pouring In
The investment reveals the organization’s confidence in the longevity of the cryptocurrency trading market.
Several large international organizations have been investing or integrating crypto trading into their platforms. One such example is PayPal, which recently launched an internal trading platform that allows users to trade major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.
PayPal’s exchange just set a new milestone with $100 million in daily trading volume. This figure is particularly high for a firm that has basically just launched trading capabilities.
With all-time high bitcoin prices and ether on the cusp of its own record, capital is likely to continue pouring in.