Binance Returns to Japan via Sakura Exchange Acquisition

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Binance has acquired the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Sakura Exchange BitCoin.
For the first time since 2018, the exchange has a business presence in Japan thanks to the acquisition.
The deal coincides with Japan’s plans to foster a more crypto-friendly environment.

Binance, led by Changpeng Zhao, has been expanding globally despite the bear market of 2022. It recently acquired the trading platform Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC) for an undisclosed amount.

The news broke not long after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced his government’s intention to create crypto-friendly policies and encourage the expansion of Japan’s digital asset ecosystem.

Binance announced the acquisition on Wednesday, marking the company’s first license in East Asia and its 12th globally. Binance has received authorization from regulatory bodies in France, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Poland, Lithuania, and Cyprus.

SEBC started up in 2017, but it wasn’t until last month that the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA) gave it a license to operate. There are currently 11 supported trading pairs: BTC/JPY, ETH/JPY, BCH/JPY, XRP/JPY, LTC/JPY, ETC/JPY, XEM/JPY, MONA/JPY, ADA/JPY, XYM/JPY, and COT/JPY.

#Binance has acquired 100% of Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC), the Japanese-registered crypto exchange service provider.https://t.co/GSPYxQvamg

— Binance (@binance) November 30, 2022

Binance Re-Enters the Japanese Market

Following the acquisition, Binance will return to the Japanese market. Last year, the JFSA gave Binance a warning, saying that the exchange was still doing business in the country without authorization. The exchange announced back then that it “does not currently hold exchange operations in Japan, nor do we actively solicit Japanese users.”

This SEBC purchase marks the exchange’s fourth investment this month. Binance Labs, the accelerator and venture capital arm of the cryptocurrency exchange, said on November 15 that it would put $4 million into the Ultimate Champions Web3 sports game platform. 

After that, on November 21, the venture capital arm of the exchange disclosed an investment in NGRAVE, a manufacturer of hardware cryptocurrency wallets, for an undisclosed amount.

The CEO of the exchange, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, recently confirmed plans for the acquisition of the defunct cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital.

On the Flipside

Separately (but similarly), Binance announced that, as of today, it will no longer allow new users from Japan to register on its primary Binance.com website. The company has assured its existing customers that they “will not be affected by the changes” and that they can keep using the products and services as usual on its main website.

Why You Should Care

With the purchase, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume will be able to serve customers in Japan. 

Japan is regarded as one of the first countries to enact crypto trading regulations. Despite being rigorous, the Japanese approach to cryptocurrency laws was well received; the G20 even engaged Japan on the subject of global crypto guidelines.

 

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