Crypto Exchange Bitstamp Gets Acquired by European Investment Firm NXMH

Siamak Masnavi

On Monday (29 October 2018), Reuters reported that Belgium-based investment firm NXMH had acquired an 80% stake in Bitstamp, the largest crypto exchange in the European Union by trading volume.

This is how Bitstamp announced the news on Twitter:

Although the exchange’s chief executive officer Nejc Kodrič did not provide any details about the terms of the deal (struck last December, but signed on 25 October 2018), he did say that this was "an all cash deal." According to Fortune, "the purchase price was rumored to be around $400 million".

The Brussels-based NXMH is an investment firm with more than 2 billion euros of assets under management. It is owned by South Korean conglomerate NXC, which invests in digital technologies, and also happens to own Korean crypto exchange Korbit. It is worth pointing out, however, that the two exchanges will continue to operate independently.

Kodrič told Reuters:

“The sale wasn’t planned. There was no active effort to go around and solicit buyers. The vibrant industry last year sparked potential interest from buyers to make a footprint in the industry. We started to get approached by buyers in the middle of last year."

In a letter to customers over on the Bitstamp website, Kodrič explained the reason for the sale to NXMH:

"The reason why we finally decided to sell the company is a combination of the quality of the buyer, the quality of the offer and the fact that the industry is at a point where consolidation makes sense. A major factor in agreeing to the sale is that the mission, leadership and vision of the company remains the same."

He also told customers there was no need to worry about the change in ownership of the company:

"I want to assure you that Bitstamp remains Bitstamp. We will continue to innovate with the goal of giving our customers the absolute best trading experience. It is business as usual here. We do anticipate that this acquisition will strengthen Bitstamp’s positioning for growth, which will provide opportunities to better serve our customers. Customers should not have any concerns about their accounts or changes to the way we operate."

Kodrič retains 10% of Bitstamp's shares and will continue to work as its CEO.Dan Morehead's Pantera Capital Management, which had made a $10 million investment in Bitstamp company in 2014, "also sold part of its stake in Bitstamp to NXMH." Morehead is the Chairman of Bitstamp's Board of Directors.

Bitstamp was founded in August 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak (who "sold his entire 30 percent stake in Bitstamp with the deal and has not been active since 2015"), with the company initially "based out of a Slovenia garage with just a server, a couple of laptops, and a thousand euros in capital." It currently has over three million users.

Kodrič told Reuters that falling crypto prices had affected business, with trading volume down between 60-70 percent, but pointed out that "Bitstamp remained profitable in 2018 because current cryptocurrency prices were still much higher than they were for most of last year."

Kodrič and Merlak founded Bitstamp in August 2011. Kodrič says the company "started in a garage with two laptops and EUR 1000 seven years ago."

Featured Image Courtesy of Bitstamp

TRON (TRX) Becomes Available for Trading to eToro's 10 Million Users

On Monday (March 25), leading social trading platform eToro, which has over 10 million registered users, announced that it had added support for TRON (TRX).

eToro, which calls itself "the world’s leading social trading network", was born in January 2007. Perhaps, the best example of eToro's social trading tools is "CopyTrader", which "enables clients to automate their trading by allocating some of their funds to replicate another investor’s activity and copying every move they make in real time."

Although eToro had allowed trading in Bitcoin (via CFDs) as early as 2013, it wasn't until 2017, when it became possible to directly trade and invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other popular cryptoassets.

With today's announcement, TRON (TRX) becomes the 15th cryptoasset be listed on eToro (the others are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, XRP, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Stellar, NEO, EOS, Cardano, IOTA, Binance Coin, and Zcash). It is worth noting that "TRX will also be added to eToro’s CryptoPortfolio, which enables investors to diversify across all available crypto-assets (weighted by market cap) with just one click."

Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan on Twitter), Senior Market Analyst at eToro, explained to CryptoGlobe why eToro had decided to add support for TRON:

"Tron has been one of the most highly requested cryptos from clients looking to trade it on our platform, so we are very proud to provide it today."

Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO at eToro, stated: 

“TRON is making fast progress towards lofty ambitions, and has rightly garnered the attention of the crypto community. Given the relative youth of blockchain technology, investors in crypto-assets are investing in big ideas and seeking out companies that execute on big ideas. Tron certainly ticks that box. At eToro we look to offer investors access to crypto-assets that already have some clear success behind them.”

As for Justin Sun, the founder and CEO of TRON foundation, this is what he had to say:

“With our listing on eToro, we’re giving TRX holders another great platform on which to manage their assets. These steps will help grow the blockchain community and expand our reach around the world.”


Featured Image Courtesy of eToro