Gaming Company Nexon Denies $350 Million Bitstamp Acquisition

Francisco Memoria
  • Gaming company Nexon Korea recently denied it's in alks to acquire cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp.
  • Rumors of the acquisition first appeared after reports cited people familiar with the matter, who claimed the deal would go for $350 million.

South Korean gaming company Nexon Korea recently denied it was in talks to buy Luxemburg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp for $350 million, according to local news outlet The Korean Herald.

The gaming company’s CEO, Lee Jung-hun, stated at a press conference in Nexon’s headquarters that the company wasn’t looking to acquire the exchange. He was quoted as saying:

“Nexon Korea does not have anything to do with a Bitstamp acquisition. We do not have any plans to link cryptocurrencies with our games business.”

Lee Jung-hun

It’s worth noting Nexon was established in Seoul back in 1995, and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of 1.3 trillion yen ($12.7 billion). Its parent company, NXC Corp., has acquired a majority stake in South Korean exchange Korbit last year.

Rumors Nexon was going to purchase Bitstamp started after Business Insider published a report citing people familiar with the matter, that didn’t want to be named because they weren’t authorized to discuss the deal.

Per Business Insider’s sources, the situation was fluid and the deal could fail to materialize. When reached out to, Nexon claimed it could “neither confirm nor deny” the report, while a Bitstamp spokesperson stated he or she wasn’t in a position to comment the matter.

During the press conference, Nexon’s CEO added that the company does see potential in blockchain technology, as it can be used in game development. While Nexon itself may not be behind the deal, it’s still possible its parent company may be looking to acquire Bitstamp.

Bitstamp is considered to be the longest surviving cryptocurrency exchange to date. Founded in 2011, Bitstamp has been through various noteworthy events – including getting hacked – but is still active. At press time, over $300 million were traded on it in the last 24-hour period.

Chinese Yuan 'Inversely Correlated' with Bitcoin, Amidst US-China Trade Wars

Since January 2018, China and the US have been involved in an intense trade war in which both countries have significantly increased tariffs on imported goods and services.

Due partly to the rising tension between the two countries, the Chinese yuan (CNY) has been losing value against the USD. During the same time period, the price of bitcoin (BTC) and other major cryptoassets has been surging.

As noted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the value of BTC, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, increased by 26.5% to $7,878 during the time period from May 5 to May 17. Notably, US President Donald Trump had announced on May 5 that he would further increase tariffs on goods imported from mainland China.

Chinese Yuan Weakens as Nation’s Government Responds to Increased Tariffs

The SCMP pointed out that the yuan dropped to its lowest level since the past six months after the Chinese government responded to Trump administration’s decision to impose higher tariffs on China.

Commenting on the price fluctuations of both the yuan and bitcoin, Garrick Hileman, a Macroeconomics Researcher at London School of Economics (LSE) and Head of Research at Blockchain.com, remarked:

We are observing a strong inverse correlation between the [Renminbi] RMB’s value and bitcoin, meaning that recent RMB declines over trade tensions have been closely matched by increases in the value of bitcoin.

“Correlation Does Not Necessarily Equal Causation”

Hileman also mentioned that we “cannot be 100% certain” that the bitcoin price has been increasing due to heightened concerns regarding trade tensions and the corresponding decline in the value of the yuan. The blockchain researcher stated:

Trade tensions and declines in the RMB’s exchange rate as correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Hileman, who earned his Phd from LSE, revealed:

This is not the first time we’ve seen significant increases in the value of bitcoin taking place alongside yuan concerns.

He added that there’s “growing recognition of bitcoin as ‘digital gold’ and it being used as a hedge against various macroeconomic risks.”

“This Year, the Narrative Is Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin”

According to the SCMP, bitcoin’s price may have surged recently due to the generally positive remarks made about it at the Consensus 2019 conference.

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, a crypto treasury management firm, has also confirmed recently that the narrative this year has been mostly about Bitcoin. Demirors revealed that both institutions and retail investors are “feeling good” and are “more confident” about the long-term potential of Bitcoin and the evolving ecosystem that supports it.