Gaming company Nexon has acquired a 65 percent stake in South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit for US$80 million at a valuation of over US$150 million, reports South Korea’s leading business news publication Hankyung, citing unnamed industry sources.
Nexon is a multi-billion-dollar giant headquartered in Japan with a holding company in South Korea called NXC. It is the biggest developer of games in South Korea, and also has a US base.
Korbit is one of the leading exchanges for trading in both bitcoin and ethereum. Investors in the exchange include billionaire VC Tim Draper and South Korea’s largest telecommunications conglomerate SK Telecom.
The deal is a boost to the cryptocurrency market which has come under a cloud with China’s ban on ICOs and scrutiny of exchanges.
Despite the turmoil in China, which brought bitcoin rates down from their record high at the start of the month, interest in cryptocurrency trade and ICOs (initial coin offerings) continues to rise across Asia. Thai payments company Omise saw the US$25 million OMG tokens it released in July rise 40 times in value to US$1 billion by the end of August to become an ICO unicorn.
A number of cryptocurrency investors and advisors, as well as companies launching ICOs from around the world, gathered at the India Blockchain Week which concluded in Mumbai yesterday. Interest in ICOs as an alternative form of raising funds is rising, although the Indian government has yet to come out with regulatory guidelines on them.
ICOs and blockchain are among the hot topics being discussed at the Tech in Asia conference in Tokyo today and tomorrow. One of the speakers this afternoon is Yuzo Kano, CEO and founder of Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer. Here’s the conference agenda for easy reference.
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