Nexon, a video game development company, is set to acquire South Korean exchange Bithumb for $ 460 million.
Bithumb soon to be bought by Nexon?
South Korean video game giant Nexon is reportedly preparing to acquire Bithumb , the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. A local source says Nexon could acquire 65% stake in Bithumb for nearly $ 460 million .
Nexon is said to have signed an agreement with Bithumb at the beginning of January, but the procedures are not yet finalized. This record-breaking acquisition is believed to be the work of Nexon CEO himself, Kim Jeong-joo. The latter will work with Vidente , one of Bithumb’s main shareholders, to buy the company and take control of it.
If this sum is indeed spent by Nexon to acquire Bithumb, it would be the largest acquisition to date for the cryptocurrency sector ahead of CoinMarketCap by Binance by $ 400 million .
This is not the first time Nexon has invested in cryptocurrency and FinTech companies. Indeed, Nexon already has two other platforms, the Luxembourg exchange Bitstamp and another South Korean platform Korbit .
In the event that the acquisition of Bithumb is confirmed, Nexon would begin to form a veritable cryptocurrency empire , becoming an industry juggernaut. The local source even indicates that Nexon could in the future integrate cryptocurrencies into its video games, combining the two sectors.
A buyout that will save Bithumb?
To date, Bithumb is the platform with the highest volume of transactions in South Korea. The exchange remains the undisputed leader of its sector in the country , and even has an international platform. With nearly 5 million users, Bithumb covers more than 50% of the volume of cryptocurrency exchanges nationwide.
However, Bithumb was charged with fraud last September by South Korean authorities. Several searches have taken place in its offices in Seoul and its chairman Lee Jung Hoon has been arrested.
For several months, the company had therefore been looking for a new buyer . Nexon has responded to the call, and intends to relaunch the exchange on the right track.
In addition, this acquisition is timely for Nexon. Recently, the South Korean branch of the giant Binance left the territory for lack of liquidity. Competition remains fierce in South Korea, but Binance’s withdrawal allows local platforms to breathe and grow without an international competitor.