Japanese-Korean game maker Nexon buys Bitcoins for $100 million

3 min readMay 10, 2021

Slowly, one by one: Nexon is the first Japanese company to jump on the trend of shifting parts of its cash reserves into Bitcoins. At the gaming company, a strategy behind the investment is becoming apparent.

Originally a Korean developer studio, Nexon may be one of the fastest-growing companies in gaming. It focused early on the “free to play, pay to win” business model and games for tablets and smartphones.

While Nexon’s games are little known among “classic” gamers, the company successfully went public in Tokyo in 2011. Thanks to annual sales of more than $2 billion and investor capital, Nexon was even able to make a takeover bid to the well-known gaming developer Electronic Arts a year later.

Now Nexon is becoming the first “bitcoin treasure trove” among Japan’s publicly traded companies. The company announces it has purchased 1,717 Bitcoins worth the equivalent of about 11.1 billion yen — about $100 million. According to the press release, this expenditure represented less than two percent of its liquid cash and cash-like reserves. Clearly, Nexon is not short of cash.

What it does lack, however, is apparently confidence in the stability of fiat money. “Our purchase of Bitcoin reflects our disciplined strategy,” CEO Owen Mahoney politely puts it, “to protect shareholder value and preserve the purchasing power of our cash assets.” In the current economic environment, Bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while preserving the value of cash for future investments, he said.

The press release ends with these terse but saying words. Nexon, you should probably know, began a buying spree in the entertainment market last year. The company is investing $1.5 billion of its lavish surplus funds in other companies in the industry, such as Monopoly publisher Hasbro and Sega Holding, which is legendary in gaming. Such investments rely on having large amounts of cash available quickly and preserving the value of the capital. With its combination of great liquidity on exchanges and potential to preserve value even during fiat inflation, Bitcoin seems like a sensible and useful option given these needs.

It should be no coincidence that SynBiotic, the first German non-crypto company to hold…


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