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The Japanese company Nexon, which has been listed since 2011, has purchased 1,717 bitcoins. This new allocation represents less than 2% of its cash.


Bitcoin: gaming giant Nexon invests $100 million

The list of large companies investing in bitcoin is growing. After Tesla, software company Microstrategy and China's Meituan, Japanese gaming giant Nexon has announced that it has bought 1,717 bitcoins, the equivalent of $100 million. The company, which has been publicly traded since 2011, says this allocation represents less than 2% of its total cash and cash equivalents as of December 2020. "Our purchase of bitcoin reflects a disciplined strategy to protect shareholder value and maintain the purchasing power of our cash," Owen Mahoney, Nexon's president and CEO, noted in a statement. "In the current economic environment, we believe bitcoin offers long-term stability and liquidity while maintaining the value of our cash for future investments," he added. So, which company will be the next to bet on the famous cryptocurrency?


What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a virtual currency created in 2009 by an unidentified person whose pseudonym is Satoshi Nakamoto. Unlike traditional currencies (also known as fiat currency), Bitcoin is not issued and administered by a banking authority. It is issued on the blockchain protocol of the same name. This technology allows information to be stored and transmitted transparently, securely and without a central controlling body. Bitcoin, like many other crypto-currencies, is put into circulation via mining. Miners," people spread around the world, perform mathematical calculations with their computer hardware for the Bitcoin network to confirm transactions and increase their security. In exchange, they receive bitcoins. They can then be converted into fiat currency or exchanged for other crypto-currencies on exchange platforms.


The issuance of bitcoins is limited to 21 million units, as it was planned in the original code. This amount is expected to be reached in 2140.At the beginning of 2018, the number of bitcoin issued passed the 17 million mark, which is 80% of the total.  Due to the growing difficulty of calculations, bitcoin is created at a decreasing rate: 12.5 bitcoins every ten minutes today (compared to 50 bitcoins in 2009). Note that the smallest division of bitcoin is the satoshi. 1 satoshi = 0.00000001 bitcoin.


Where to buy bitcoins?

Before buying bitcoins, it is important to keep in mind that, as with any risky asset, you should not invest more than you can afford to lose. There is no such thing as a Bitcoin account as there are bank accounts. To get Bitcoins, you need to open an account on a crypto-currency exchange platform (there are about 100 of them in the world today). In general, it is possible to buy them by card or by bank transfer. In France, there are a handful of players: the exchanges Paymium (bitcoin/euro exchange), Zebitex (multi-crypto/euros), Savitar and the brokers Coinhouse and ZeBitcoin. The latter also has an exchange office in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris called "Coinhouse Paris Store" (formerly La Maison du bitcoin). But French citizens can buy bitcoins on foreign platforms, such as the American Coinbase which is available in French. Some are more user-friendly than others. Commissions also vary from one platform to another. The site bitcoin.fr regularly updates a ranking of platforms by listing the number of positive and negative reviews. 


How does the bitcoin price work?

There is no official value for bitcoin. This indicator is only an average of the bitcoin prices (usually in dollars) on all the crypto-currency exchange platforms in the world. There are several sites that use this method, the most famous of which is CoinmarketCap. The price of bitcoin is simply governed by the law of supply and demand. Note that it is always difficult to explain why the price suddenly increases or decreases. 


Since its inception, the price of bitcoin has seen great variations. The year 2017 was particularly eventful for the star of crypto-currencies. It went from $1,000 to $19,000 in one year. Its all-time high was reached in February 2021, exceeding $47,000. 


Who holds the most bitcoin? 

There are bitcoin billionaires. Due to the volatility of the price, it is therefore difficult to say exactly how much their fortune amounts to in dollars or euros. According to the specialized site Decrypt, the largest holder of bitcoins would be Micree Zhan, the co-founder of the mining giant Bitmain. The list of crypto-millionaires includes:


  1. The Winklevoss brothers: founders of the crypto exchange Gemini (also known for their conflict with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook)
  2. Michaël Saylor: the boss of the software company Microstrategy (part of whose balance sheet is in bitcoin)
  3. Changpeng Zhao: CEO of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in terms of volume
  4. Tim Draper: investor Tim Draper
  5. Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, the very popular American crypto exchange. 
  6. But the largest holder of bitcoins would actually be... Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, who has still not been identified. According to several estimates, he has 1.1 million bitcoins.


Who uses Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is used around the world. Western countries account for a large part of the transactions, mainly for investment purposes. Countries with high inflation are also Bitcoin users, such as Argentina and Venezuela. On the other hand, some countries have banned the buying and selling of bitcoins. This is the case in Pakistan, Algeria, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia. Since Bitcoin cannot really be banned due to its decentralized nature, it is still possible to get Bitcoin, for example on peer-to-peer sites. 


History of Bitcoin's price

bitcoin's price began to be tracked in early 2011, two years after its creation. It is most often expressed in dollars or euros, but it can also be found in yen or yuan because Asians are very fond of crypto-currencies. Here is the history of the bitcoin price in dollars.  


Halving Bitcoin 

Halving is an event during which the reward for miners who create bitcoin will be halved. This event takes place about every four years. The last halving, on May 11, 2020, reduced the reward from 12.5 to 6.25.  This is the third halving since the cryptocurrency star's inception in 2009, following those in November 2012 and July 2016. At the next halving, the mining reward will consequently increase to 3.125 bitcoins. And so on... This scheme will allow to reach the maximum of 21 million bitcoins in circulation by 2140, as predicted by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin's anonymous creator. Today, there are 18.3 million bitcoins in circulation. Halving is also synonymous with a rise in the price of bitcoin. At least that's what happened for the first two halvings. This is not surprising, since bitcoin, like many assets, depends on supply and demand. And with a falling supply, its price tends to rise. For the third, the pattern was not repeated as bitcoin lost 2% to settle at $8,560. It must be said that this halving takes place in a rather special context related to the coronavirus epidemic.


Bitcoin walllets

Once you have bought bitcoins, it is possible to keep them in a wallet, a physical or digital electronic wallet. It helps to avoid the risks of hacking that crypto-currency platforms can fall victim to. It consists of two elements: a public key, known to everyone, which corresponds to a bitcoin address, and a private key, known only to the wallet holder. Physical wallets look like USB sticks. Two big players are competing in the market, Ledger from France and Trezor from the Czech Republic. Digital wallets, software wallets, can be accessed on computer, mobile and desktop. Some examples of software wallets: ArcBit, BitGo, Electrum, Mycelium.


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