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Filings Link Crypto Exchange Bitstamp to Game Maker Nexon

Public filings released in late May establish the strongest link yet between Bitstamp and Korean gaming firm Nexon, which was rumored to have bought the cryptocurrency exchange earlier this year.

Those rumors date back to the spring when sources indicated that Nexon would pay as much as $500 million for Bitstamp, one of the industry’s longest-running bitcoin exchanges. Word of the acquisition also came months after Nexon bought a majority stake in crypto exchange Korbit for roughly $80 million in September 2017.

Business Insider later reported in April that Nexon was in talks to acquire Bitstamp for $350 million. Lee Jungheon, CEO of Nexon Korea, said in the wake of that report that “Nexon Korea does not have anything to do with a Bitstamp acquisition” according to the Korea Herald.

But a corporate disclosure submitted by Nexon Group holding company NXC and obtained by CoinDesk suggests that some kind of deal took place. NXC, Nexon Group’s parent company, is 98.28 percent owned by Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju and his family.

According to the report, NXC owns 100 percent of a Belgian company called NXMH B.V.B.A., an investment and consulting firm. NXHM B.V.B.A., with 99 percent ownership, created Bitstamp Holdings N.V., also a Belgian company, on February 1 of this year.

The report states that Bitstamp Holdings N.V. acquired 100 percent of Bitstamp Japan Co., Ltd on April 25.

But while the documents establish a link to Bitstamp, it’s not clear whether they constitute an “acquisition” of Bitstamp given the lack of information regarding Bitstamp Japan Co., Ltd. The exchange is run by Bitstamp Limited, which is based in the United Kingdom and has offices in Luxembourg and New York.

A Nexon representative said that Bitstamp Holdings isn’t the operator of the exchange, and when asked about the relationship there, the rep said that they “cannot disclose any further information at this moment.” Bitstamp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Game maker push

If confirmed, the deal would represent the latest industry buy for the gaming company, which has released a number of titles for desktop and mobile platforms.

The purchase of Bitstamp Japan Co., Ltd also followed a record-setting year for Nexon. The company reported more than $2 billion in revenue for 2017, an increase roughly 28 percent over the prior year’s figures.

Nexon isn’t the only gaming company with its eyes on the crypto space, however.

Gumi, a mobile game maker based in Japan, launched a $30 million investment fund earlier this year focused on the tech. And major industry companies like Ubisoft and Unity have also made similar moves in recent months.

Nexon executives have remarked on the technology as well in the past. Back in March, Owen Mahoney, CEO of the Nexon’s U.S. arm, cited blockchain during an interview with CNBC as a tool for improving the gamer experience.

“People want to trust other people within new games, and blockchain technology can help bring that reputation across different sort of games,” he was quoted as saying.

Reporting by Shinjae Yoo and Pete Rizzo.

Image via Glassdoor

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Justin Sun Interested in Acquiring BitTorrent

Justin Sun, founder of Tron and disciple of Alibaba’s Jack Ma, could be in the process of acquiring BitTorrent.Inc, one of the most important companies in the transmission of P2P data.

Neither Justin Sun nor the BitTorrent team has yet confirmed this news, however, the analysis of certain official documents seems to provide sufficient support.

According to Torrent Freak, a website dedicated to the Torrent user community, the company changed its name without further explanation:

There is something fresh though – BitTorrent Inc. has a new name. While it hasn’t been published anywhere, the company formerly known as BitTorrent Inc. is now Rainberry Inc.
“Rainberry Inc is the official name of the company; it was changed right around the start of 2017,” Rainberry’s Chief Product Officer Jordy Berson informs TorrentFreak. He stresses that it’s purely a corporate decision and that none of the existing product brands will change.”

The website was emphatic in pointing out that the reasons for rebranding a long-standing trademark were a “mystery,” which the company endeavored to keep “under the radar”.

However, it is noteworthy that on April 23, 2018, The Secretary of California State’s website published the registration of a corporation: Rainberry Acquisition, Inc.

The CEO of this company is Justin Sun, the creator of Tron; a blockchain focused on content distribution —very similar to what a Torrent network does today.

The acquisition of BitTorrent is particularly interesting as Tron is about to launch its main net soon
In addition to the current number of Tron users, BitTorrent users are at least 300 mn according to data from 2014.

BitTorrent’s Founder is Wants to Design a New Blockchain

Just as the creator of a blockchain has his eyes on BitTorrent, the creator of bittorrent has his eyes the blockchain.

As reported by Tech Crunch, Bram Cohen, creator of BitTorrent, announced the development of Chia, an “eco-friendly bitcoin competitor.”

“The idea is to make a better Bitcoin, to fix the centralization problems,” Cohen tells me. The two main issues he sees in bitcoin are in environmental impact and the instability that arises from the few bitcoin miners with the cheapest access to electricity exerting outsized influence.
Chia aims to solve both.”

In the opinion of the BitTorrent creator, Chia’s consensus algorithm —”Proof of Space”— solves the problems of Bitcoin’s PoW.

Chia instead relies on proofs of space in file storage, which people often already have and can use for no additional cost. It combines this with proofs of time that disarm a wide array of attacks to which proofs of space are susceptible.”

Explanation of Chia Network. The blockchain proposed by BitTorrent's creatorCredit: Tech Crunch

So far Justin Sun has not revealed his intentions, it may well be a way to diversify his investments as it could be an attempt to expand Tron’s user base merging both networks

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Crypto Exchange Poloniex Acquired By Payments Startup Circle

Circle announced Monday that it has acquired the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, confirming recent rumours about the deal.

In a statement, Poloniex said that its team would be bolstered by the operational and customer support resources from Circle “so that we can continue to scale effectively going forward.”

“We recognize that our extraordinary growth these past few years has not come without some growing pains for our users. We look forward to bringing Circle’s experience to increase the scalability and reliability of our platform and operations.”

Rumors about the acquisition had been in the air for weeks prior to Monday’s announcement. On Feb. 2, a report on the Modern Consensus said that Circle “is deep in discussions to acquire Poloniex.” Fortune’s Robert Hackett reported today that, according to a source with knowledge of the deal, Circle paid roughly $400 million to buy out Poloniex, which launched in 2014.

Commenting on the deal, Circle said that it plans to build on the work done previously by the Poloniex team, setting the goal of pushing it past being “an exchange for only crypto assets.’

“We envision a robust multi-sided distributed marketplace that can host tokens which represent everything of value: physical goods, fundraising and equity, real estate, creative productions such as works of art, music and literature, service leases and time-based rentals, credit, futures, and more,” co-founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville wrote.

In its own statements, Poloniex stressed that its users would see no disruption of services during the transition, writing that “any updates we make in the course of this transition will be behind-the-scenes and focused on strengthening user experience, platform performance, and security.

“Your funds will remain safe and access to account functionality uninterrupted throughout,” the exchange added.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Circle.

Merger image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.