The European cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp was acquired by a little-known investment company from Belgium. The deal was paid in cash, but the amount is not disclosed. It is estimated at $400 million.

Bitstamp finds new owners

The Belgium-based investment company NXMH acquired an 80% stake in Bitstamp. According to Reuters, NXMH and Bitstamp completed the reportedly $400 million deal on October 25. In 2016, Bitstamp received the market valuation of approximately $60 million.

NXMH is a Belgium-based family investment company that manages assets worth 2 billion euros. The main focus is investments in European IT and consumer start-ups.

NXMH is partially owned by Barclays Bank and the South Korean company NXC Corp., which last year acquired a 65.19% stake in Korbit, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange.

Nejc Kodrič, the Bitstamp CEO and its co-founder, retained his 10% share and remained the general director of the crypto exchange. Another co-founder of Bitstamp, Damijan Merlak, reportedly sold his entire 30% stake to NXMH.

Founded in August 2011 by natives of Slovenia, Bitstamp has long remained a long-lived cryptocurrency exchange that survived both the bankrupt and hacked Mt. Gox, and many other trading platforms. Bitstamp was based in Slovenia, in the UK and then moved to Luxembourg. In 2016, the Luxembourg regulator granted a license to Bitstamp to be fully regulated in the EU as a payment institution, which allowed the exchange to fully legally operate in all 28 EU countries.

Exchanges go by auction

This year several large cryptocurrency exchanges changed owners. In February, the US-based Poloniex was acquired by the blockchain holding Circle. The deal is rumored to be about $400 million.

Yahoo Japan acquired a 40% stake in BitARG for 2-3 billion yen ($18.5- $27.8 million). And Singapore investor Eric Cheng acquired BitTrade, a licensed Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, and FX Trade Financial, an affiliate of Forex-brokerage company, having paid 67 million Singapore dollars ($50 million).