Bithumb, South Korea’s largest digital currency exchange, is once again for sale. This time around it looks like the video game publisher Nexon is going to acquire them. According to the South Korean publication Maekyung, Nexon will bid to acquire a 65% stake in Bithumb for roughly 500 billion won ($460 million) and has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Bithumb.
Nexon’s third purchase
If the deal between Nexon and Bithumb goes through, Nexon will be the owner of three digital currency exchanges. In 2017, Nexon purchased a 65.19% stake in Korbit for 91.3 billion won ($83.4 million); the following year (2018), Nexon purchased an 80% stake in Bitstamp for 434.9 billion won ($396.4 million.).
When it comes to the digital currency markets in South Korea, Nexon will be a major player in the space and will have market dominance in the country.
This isn’t the first time Bithumb has been for sale
Back in 2018, Bithumb was going to be acquired for roughly 400 billion won ($365 million) by Singapore-based BK Group. However, BK Group was not able to raise the funds to complete the deal. The failed acquisition led to a fraud investigation; in 2018, Bithumb sold Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA) tokens and told investors that once BK Group acquired Bithumb that the BXA tokens would be listed on the exchange. However, the acquisition never happened which led BXA token investors to experience significant losses on their BXA token investment.
Two years after that first failed attempt to buy Bithumb, in November 2020, it was rumored that Huobi was interested in buying Bithumb and that Bithumb was open to that acquisition. However, after that rumor hit the market, there was no information that either confirmed or denied a deal between Huobi and Bithumb.
Now, the ball is in Nexon’s court, and it is only a matter of time until we see whether the deal goes through, or if this will be another failed acquisition.
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