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NCSoft Denies It Made a Bid for Control of Bithumb

NCSoft Denies It Made a Bid for Control of Bithumb 101
Source: Adobe/Suriyawut

NCSoft, a South Korean video game developer known for its Lineage series of gaming titles, confirmed to Cryptonews.com that they have not submitted a bid for a controlling stake in Bithumb, South Korea’s market-leading crypto exchange. (Updated on January 11: updates throughout the entire text.)

The company was responding to a now-deleted report by ZDNet Korea. It claimed that NCSoft has submitted a rival bid of around USD 596m for almost 66% of the shares in the trading platform, owned almost exclusively by troubled Bithumb executive Lee Jung-hoon, the largest shareholder in the holding company Bithumb Holdings as well as another firm named DAA, which has a 30+% stake in the exchange.

In a separate report, NCSoft was quoted by Ilyo Shinmun as stating that there was "no truth at all" in the reports that it had put in a bid for Bithumb.

The report in ZDNet Korea appeared after widespread reports of an all-but-done deal with another South Korean gaming behemoth, Nexon. The latter is part of a business empire that also comprises the crypto exchanges Korbit and Bitstamp.

Multiple reports from South Korea yesterday stated that Nexon’s bid valued at USD 458m. Meanwhile, a domestic blockchain business expert yesterday stated that the price was already “discounted,” and stated that a sub-USD 500 million deal for Bithumb would be a “remarkable coup” considering the rude health of the crypto market.

A video equipment-making firm named Vidente owns the remaining 34% of the shares and was not thought to be looking for a buyer. But a report from the Korea Times claimed that Vidente has distanced itself from the Nexon bid, and has not ruled out making a rival bid of its own for the platform, quoting Vidente as stating,

“We have yet to decide whether to sell our stake in Bithumb Holdings or to acquire an additional stake.”

A Nexon spokesperson declined to “discuss Nexon’s investment strategy” when contacted by Cryptonews.com. Bithumb did not respond to our request for comment.
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