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Nexon joins Tesla in bitcoin bet

Korean-Japanese game maker Nexon on Tuesday said it spent $100 million to purchase bitcoin, joining companies like Tesla and MicroStrategy who bet on cryptocurrencies.

The company listed on Tokyo Stock Exchange said it purchased 1,717 bitcoins at $58,226 on average. Bitcoin was being traded at $54,910 as of 1:35 p.m. on Wednesday.

“In the current economic environment, we believe bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments,“ said Owen Mahoney, President and CEO of Nexon, in a statement. “Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy for protecting shareholder value and for maintaining the purchasing power of our cash assets,” he noted.

The company said it used less than 2 percent of its reserves.

In addition to the digital coin purchase, NXC, the holding company that owns 28.55 percent of Nexon, is reportedly eyeing stake purchase in cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb. In 2016, NXC bought a Korean digital coin exchange Korbit while acquiring Luxembourg-based BitStamp in 2018.

Nexon’s move follows US electric car maker Tesla, which made $101 million by selling 10 percent of its Bitcoin holdings in the first quarter. The profit from the bitcoin sales accounted for 23 percent of the company’s quarterly net profit of $438 million. In February, the company led by Elon Musk announced it bought $1.5 billion worth of the largest crypto asset in February.

MicroStrategy, a business intelligence provider listed on the Nasdaq, also holds 91,579 bitcoins.

By Park Ga-young (