Saturday, 19 September 2020

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp bought by South Korean-backed fund

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has been acquired in an all-cash deal by South Korean investors as its boss claims the technology is entering the mainstream.

Chief executive Nejc Kodric didn’t disclose the value of the sale but said the acquisition by Belgium-based NXMH will allow the digital currency exchange to expand.

“We do anticipate that this acquisition will strengthen Bitstamp’s positioning for growth, which will provide opportunities to better serve our customers,” he said.

Bitstamp customers will get better user experience, customer service and trading functions as a result of the acquisition, the company said.

Its new owner, NXMH, is in turn owned by South Korea-headquartered NXC, which also owns South Korean crypto exchange Korbit.

NXMH stressed that Bitstamp and Korbit will continue to operate independently, but expects synergies in technology and research and development.

“Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most-respected cryptocurrency exchanges and we see positive growth potential as the industry continues to evolve,” said Hendrik Ghys, NXMH investment manager. “We acquired Bitstamp because we see it as a strategic, long-term investment.”

“NXMH shares our vision for the future of digital currencies,” added Kodric. “We see cryptocurrency continuing to become more mainstream and a part of people's everyday lives, as well as growing at the institutional level as the gap between the digital and traditional financial worlds keeps shrinking.”

Kodric will continue to serve as chief executive after founding Bitstamp with Damian Merlak in 2011. Since then it has grown to count more than 3m customers.

Kodric will retain a minority ownership stake in Bitstamp, while Pantera Capital Management, which invested $10m (£7.8m) in the business in 2014, will keep a six per cent stake.

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