Tencent may soon be the proud owner of two major bitcoin exchanges, as the $ 400 billion Chinese tech conglomerate is evaluating an offer for the South Korean holding company that controls them.
Mulling Tencent offer for Bitstamp and Korbit owners
Reuters reports that Tencent is actively pursuing co-investors for the purchase of NXC Corp, based in South Korea, the company behind the Nexon gaming company. Kim Jung-ju reportedly wants to sell a 98.64% stake in the company he co-founded in 1994. That investment, which is held by Kim and his wife, is worth $ 7.1 billion to $ 8. , 9 billion.
Although best known for his gaming empire, NXC has more cryptocurrency exchanges. Towards the end of 2017, the company acquired a majority stake in Korbit – hence the second largest cryptographic exchange in South Korea – in an agreement that valued the company at $ 150 million. The Korean crypto market has experienced severe turbulence over the course of the year and a half since the acquisition, but Korbit maintains a strong presence in the region with a monthly trading volume estimated at $ 350 million.
Last October NXMH, the Belgian branch of NXC, bought a share of 80 percent in Bitstamp, the oldest bitcoin exchange in the world. Bitstamp is currently positioned as one of the top 50 exchanges with a monthly volume of over $ 1.8 billion.
The purchase would give a Tencent support point in the encrypted industry
Given the state of the cryptocurrency market, it is unlikely that Nexon's crypto-ventures will play an important role in Tencent's decision to acquire the company. Rather, the potential acquisition is probably due to Tencent's desire to expand his gaming activity outside of China, where restrictive regulation has been a thorn in his side – and his stock price, which is well beyond below its historical maximum.
Concerned about the prevalence of gambling addiction, China has severely reduced gaming clearance in recent months. The authorities have started to highlight a limited number of new games this month, but Tencent's offers were particularly absent from the approval list.
Nevertheless, an NXC purchase would give Tencent a place in the cryptocurrency sector, providing the opportunity to rapidly expand its reach in this nascent sector, if it ever had the inclination. As reported by CCN, Tencent has already invested significant capital in blockchain projects, including the establishment of a partnership with a blockchain esports entertainment platform.
Close-up image of REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / Photo file