One of South Korea’s largest gaming companies is getting into the digital currency industry. Gamevil, a publicly listed firm, has bought a stake in Coinone, South Korea’s third largest digital currency exchange. The investment comes just months after Gamevil’s rival Nexon was reported to be eyeing a stake in Bithumb, Korea’s second largest exchange.
Gamevil has acquired a 13% stake in Coinone, the Korea Herald reports. The firm paid KRW31.2 billion (US$27.9 million) to acquire 8,474 shares in the exchange.
Coinone processed $1.4 billion in trading volume in the past 24 hours according to CoinGecko. This ranks behind market leader Upbit which processed $21.4 billion and Bithumb which saw $4 billion in trading volume.
In a regulatory filing, the Seoul-based firm commented, “The acquisition is aimed at finding new business opportunities in the crypto and blockchain sectors.”
Gamevil was founded in the year 2000 and since then, it has grown to become a reputable player in the video gaming industry. Its most successful franchise is Summoners War, a $2 billion mobile role-playing game it released through its wholly-owned subsidiary Com2uS.
Gamevil’s acquisition of a stake in Coinone comes after reports circulated claiming that Nexon was eyeing a stake in Bithumb. The South Korean-Japanese video game publisher was reportedly set to pay $460 million to acquire a 65% stake in Bithumb. The deal fell through, with other reports in South Korea claiming that other global firms including Morgan Stanley, Visa and JPMorgan were now in the frontline in the acquisition of Bithumb.
While it didn’t acquire a stake in Bithumb, Nexon is already a big player in the digital currency exchange sector. It owns 67% of Korbit, another South Korean exchange, and 80% of Bitstamp, which it paid $396 million for.
Coinone has faced some issues in the past, some of which has attracted the ire of the regulators. In 2019, an investor sued the exchange after he lost KRW45 million following a hack of his account. The hacker was allegedly able to exceed the daily withdrawal limit, which the court took issue with and ordered the exchange to compensate the investor.
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