Nexon, one of the world’s biggest gaming company with yearly revenue of $27 billion has purchased a 65.19% stake in one of South Korea’s biggest exchange, Korbit, at a price of 91.3 billion won, currently worth around $80 million, according to local media reports.
This is the first ever merger and acquisition in South Korea since trading began in the country back in 2013. Since then, crypto trading volumes have risen even higher than KOSDAQ, South Korea’s NASDAQ, local media says.
The country’s biggest exchange, Bithumb, has at times single-handedly handled $1 billion in Ethereum and Won trading volumes during a 24 hours period. With Korbit generally seen as the country’s second biggest exchange by volumes.
The purchase is at four times the revenue of Korbit, local media says, but Nexon’s intentions in purchasing the digital currencies exchange is unclear at this stage.
The company appears to be specializing solely in PC or online and mobile games, without much diversification. So the purchase seems peculiar in some ways and may hint at potential plans to integrate digital currencies or tokens with games.
That’s something a number of projects are working on, especially in fantasy games, but there is no established company at such scale working on an integration as far as we are aware.
The announcement is made just a day after another South Korean giant, Kakao, which operates the country’s most popular app, Kakaotalk, launched a crypto exchange that is apparently regulated by South Korea’s financial authority.
Kakao is far more diversified than Nexon. Already having a stock trading platform, as well as an internet banking license. Which means they may incorporate digital currencies within their other products.
The sudden involvement, at such levels, of two of South Korea’s giants, may indicate the country is at a tipping point, not in just adoption or awareness, but perhaps in daily use of digital currencies for such products as games and messaging apps.