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Bitstamp, Korbit Crypto Exchange Buyer Nexon Sells Blockchain R&D Arm

Bitstamp, Korbit Crypto Exchange Buyer Nexon Sells Blockchain R&D Arm 101
Source: Adobe/Andy Dean

South Korean gaming giant Nexon, the buyer of the Bitstamp and Korbit crypto exchanges, has reportedly sold one of its most important blockchain subsidiaries – with some experts claiming the move may point to a shift in focus for the gaming firm and its owner Kim Jong-ju, as he moves away from crypto and toward fintech.

Per Chosun, NXC, Nexon’s holding company, sold a 100% stake in Blockchain Entertainment Lab in a deal worth USD 903,000. The buyer appears to be the current CEO of the Lab, Noh Ki-tae. The sale reportedly took place in late September, but was kept strictly under wraps until today. The Lab was worth an estimated USD 1.4m at the time of sale, and there is no indication as to why the firm was sold at a discounted rate.

The Lab was formerly a gaming venture named Rushmo, which was incorporated as a Nexon affiliate in 2009. In 2018, Kim announced that it would become a wholly devoted blockchain arm: a blockchain technology research and R&D unit.

Kim, who bought South Korean exchange Korbit in 2017 and European exchange Bitstamp in 2018, has not spoken out on the reasons behind the sale.

However, some industry experts told the same media outlet that they believed Kim was looking to move away from the crypto sector and focus on fintech-related business interests, pointing to a deal back in March that saw NXC invest in a fintech firm based in the British Virgin Islands.

The company has also recently launched Aquis, a fintech company that allows traders to trade securities and financial products via apps, including crypto, in game-like environments.
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