Back at the end of April 2018, rumors originating from Business Insider were circulating around the web, implying that global video game giant, South Korean-based Nexon was potentially close to acquiring the oldest running cryptocurrency exchange, Bitstamp. The sale price of Bitstamp was rumored to be nearly $350 million.
Nexon later refuted the claims, stating that they "do not have any plans to link cryptocurrencies with our game business.” Lee Jungheon, CEO of Nexon Korea later backed up the initial statement, telling the Korea Herald "Nexon Korea does not have anything to do with a Bitstamp acquisition.”
Maybe it remains true that the company has no plans to link the businesses together, however, new business filings uncovered by Coindesk appear to support that an acquisition took place, or at least the purchase of an ownership stake in the cryptocurrency exchange.
According to the report, NXC, Nexon Group’s parent company, is 98.28 percent owned by Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and his estate. NXC owns 100 percent of investment and consulting firm NXMH B.V.B.A. Here is where the dots begin to connect.
In February 2018, the NXC-owned NXMH B.V.B.A. created Bitstamp Holdings N.V., which later acquired 100% of Bitstamp Japan Co., Ltd on April 25.
Coindesk is quick to point out that despite the clear connection in business filings, it still does not confirm an acquisition took place. When asked to clarify, a representative for Nexon said the filing was inaccurate and that they "cannot disclose any further information at this moment.” Bitstamp has yet to comment further on the matter.
This would not be the first ownership stake Nexon has taken in a cryptocurrency exchange. Back in September of 2017, Nexon paid $80 million for a 65 percent stake in South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit.