The South Korean holding company behind the company that launched the Baby Shark-hype a few years ago is mobilizing its highly discreet Belgian subsidiary to invest more than 150 million euros in the popular bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
The well-known children’s song ‘Baby Shark’ and bitcoin have nothing to do with each other.
But in Kim Jung-ju’s business empire, the two apparently go perfectly together. The South Korean entrepreneur, who became one of the richest inhabitants of his country thanks to his gaming company Nexon, has earned a lot of money from both hypes in recent years.
Let’s watch the Baby Shark song to ruin our day:
In addition to being the owner of Nexon, 53-year-old Kim Jung-ju has long been profiling as an active private equity investor. A few years ago, the tech entrepreneur became the main shareholder of Smart Study, the Korean entertainment company behind the well-known – and terribly annoying YouTube ‘Baby Shark’ hit.
Almost three years ago, the tech entrepreneur also took control of Bitstamp, one of the world’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges headquartered in Luxembourg. That deal had a surprising link with Belgium, it turned out.
In order to recruit Bitstamp, Kim Jung-ju’s holding n engaged her Belgian subsidiary, NXMH. This highly discrete investment company at Avenue Louise in Brussels is hardly known even in the industry. But in recent years NXMH has managed to build up a portfolio of 3 billion euros with interests in the most diverse companies.
NXMH not only controls Bitstamp, but is also in the Norwegian manufacturer of baby chairs Stokke and the Italian producer of pet food Agras. For years, NXMH also invested in Bricklink, an online platform where you could trade Lego blocks and figures. But in 2019 Kim Jung-ju, himself a notorious Lego fan, decided to sell Bricklink to the Danish toy manufacturer.
There are no plans to monetize Bitstamp as well. On the contrary: NXMH pumped a firm 153 million euros extra capital into Bitstamp this summer. What Bitstamp intends to do with that fresh money is not clear. At NXMH, which in the past repeatedly indicated that it did not want to talk to the press, no one was available for comment.
Founded in 2011 by two Slovenian entrepreneurs, Bitstamp is one of the pioneers of cryptocurrencies and is still full of ambition. In May, the company, which trades $ 28 billion in virtual currencies each month, announced its intention to invest heavily in further growth in the United States.
Bitstamp will not only have to invest heavily to serve these new American customers as well as possible. The platform will probably also have to spend extra money to ensure that all the control mechanisms for screening those customers are fully up to date.
Worldwide, cryptocurrencies are under increasing pressure to comply with regulations and to take measures to avoid money laundering.
Customers of the popular cryptocurrency market Binance are experiencing the consequences of this increasing pressure these days. Following a warning from the British financial watchdog, Binance had to stop a large part of its activities in the UK at the end of June. In the meantime, payment transactions in euros have also become impossible. As a result, customers do not risk accessing their money from Binance, although the platform still allows transactions via a credit card.