Business 30 October 2018

Erik Gibbs

Crypto exchange Bitstamp acquired by investment firm in all-cash deal

Bitstamp, the Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange, has made a deal. The exchange has announced that it has agreed to be acquired by investment firm NXMH in an all-cash arrangement that gives NXMH 80% of the company. However, customers don’t need to be concerned. Bitstamp only agreed to sign the deal after assuring that no changes will be made to the platform.

Bitstamp’s co-founder and CEO, Nejc Kodric, said that the company has received a number of proposals to sell over the years, but this was the first one that it took seriously. He said that the company decided to make the deal after reviewing NXMH’s quality and the quality of the offer, as well as an impending trend that will see more consolidation in the industry.

Kodric will remain at the helm and keep 10% of the operations. He started the exchange in 2011 with Damian Merlak in a Slovenian garage with two laptops and an initial investment of $1,100. The company now has over 3 million registered companies and has been valued at as much as $60 million. The exchange is the largest in the European Union by trading volume, turning over around $100 million each day.

Merlak previously sold his 30% stake in the company and has not been involved with its operations since 2015. Additionally, Pantera Capital Management, which invested $10 million in Bitstamp in 2014, also sold part of its stake to NXMH.

NXMH is an investment company out of Belgium. It is owned by the South Korean investment company NXC, which invests primarily in digital technologies. The firm already owns one cryptocurrency exchange—South Korea’s Korbit.

There are no plans to merge Korbit with NXMH. Each will continue working their respective markets, and according to Kodric, “Customers should not have any concerns about their accounts or changes to the way we operate.”

Bitstamp has had to weather a decline in trading this like, as have all crypto exchanges. Kodric indicated that the exchange’s volume has decreased as much as 70% this year, but that the value to the company was still high since prices are, on average, trading higher than they were for almost all of 2017.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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