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Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp will reportedly be acquired by a South Korean gaming company.
Citing three sources familiar with the matter, Business Insiderreports that Bitstamp — the world’s oldest surviving Bitcoin exchange — is close to finalizing a sale to Nexon, a South Korean gaming company that is now headquartered in Japan.
Bitstamp, which was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Luxembourg, became the world’s oldest-surviving exchange last year when China-based BTCC shut its doors after the country banned cryptocurrency trading platforms. The platform’s 24-hour trading volume is above $500 million, which makes it the world’s 10th-largest exchange.
Nexon, which released its first game in 1995, is worth approximately $13 billion and has developed Korean and Japanese version of high-profile PC and mobile games such as Counter Strike and FIFA Online.
Neither Nexon nor Bitstamp is commenting on the matter publicly, but the former is rumored to be paying $350 million for Bitstamp, which is currently Europe’s only licensed cryptocurrency exchange.
If true, Bitstamp will be sold for $50 million less than Circle is said to have paid for US cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, which it acquired earlier this year in a deal reportedly worth $400 million. That’s notable, particularly since Bitstamp regularly ranks above Poloniex in daily trading volume and also has the banking relationships necessary to offer fiat trading pairs, unlike Poloniex.
Nevertheless, it will undoubtedly provide an excellent return on investment for Bitstamp’s investors. In 2013, cryptocurrency hedge fund Pantera Capital provided the platform with $10 million in seed funding, while the company later raised $2.4 million through a crowdfunding campaign in early 2017.
Notably, this won’t be Nexon’s first cryptocurrency exchange acquisition.
As reported, the company purchased a controlling stake in South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit last September at a $150 million valuation. At the time, Korbit was South Korea’s second-largest exchange, and the platform continues to post daily trading volumes of approximately $100 million.