South Korean gaming conglomerate Nexon is planning to acquire controversial crypto exchange Bithumb for roughly 500 billion won ($460 million). As per reports from local media, Nexon has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the cryptocurrency exchange. The gaming company will now have a 65% stake in Bithumb. The acquisition has been led by Nexon CEO Kim Jung-ju.
Nexon to Acquire Bithumb for $460 Million
Nexon has previously acquired two cryptocurrency exchanges. In 2017, the gaming giant purchased a 65.19% stake in South Korean exchange Korbit for $83.4 million. A year later, it purchased an 80% stake in European exchange Bitstamp for $396.
As for crypto exchange Bithumb, it had been looking for a buyer for a while. In September 2020, reports surfaced that Bithumb had appointed Samjong KPMG to manage its sale at a price of up to $604 million.
Back in 2018, Bithumb was going to be acquired for roughly $365 million by Singapore-based BK Group. However, the BK Group could not proceed with the acquisition due to fund issues. The failed acquisition then led to a fraud investigation towards Bithumb.
Bithumb Comes Under Sale Due to Fraud Case
Bithumb has been accused of pre-selling its native token Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA) for about $27.5 million to investors and then not listing the token. The exchange apparently assured its investors that the listing would occur once BK Group acquires Bithumb. However, the deal could not fall through which ultimately led to investors’ losses.
As a result, its chairman Lee Jung Hoon came under investigation by South Korean authorities. Due to the fraud case, the exchange was put up for sale last year.
Two years later after the first failed attempt, in November 2020, rumors started circulating that Huobi was interested in buying Bithumb and that Bithumb was open to that acquisition. Post the news started circulating, there was no information whether the deal was ever confirmed or denied between Huobi and Bithumb.