- Binance is set to restart operations in Japan’s crypto market after acquiring licensed trading venue Sakura in November 2022.
- The Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC) which currently supports 11 trading pairs will cut its services on May 31 and rebrand to “Binance Japan”.
- Changpeng Zhao’s company will re-enter Japan five years after exiting the country due to regulatory pressure in 2018.
Crypto’s largest centralized trading venue Binance is set to resume operations in Japan after acquiring a locally regulated Bitcoin exchange in November last year and exiting the country five years prior due to regulatory pressure.
News of the platform moving for a crypto license emerged earlier in September last year as previously reported.
Exit Sakura, Enter Binance!
Binance will reclaim a foothold in Japan’s crypto scene through its acquisition of the licensed platform Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC). The deal happened in late 2022 as part of the company’s global expansion strategy. Per reports, Changpeng Zhao’s scooped up 100% equity in SEBC.
The purchase means that CZ’s company can now operate as a Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) regulated entity after June 2023, complying with the watchdog’s policies. First, SEBC will terminate its current services on May 31.
After that, Sakura will rebrand to Binance Japan. This will finalize the deal and cement the company’s re-entry into the Japanese market.
SEBC CEO Hitomi Yamamoto expressed his delight regarding the deal and rebrand, saying that Binance’s strong compliance system would contribute to building a more compliant atmosphere for users in Japan and that the acquisition would assist users in gaining access to crypto services needed for mass adoption in the future.
SEBC offers brokerage and consultation services to its customers with support for 11 trading pairs. It’s unclear if the new platform will be allowed to list new tokens given Japan’s strict token listing rules.
Japan has a high regulatory bar for crypto exchanges. It requires the segregation of customer and exchange assets, with most exchange assets to be kept in cold wallets and customers’ fiat to be kept by a Japanese trust company or bank trust. Listing tokens on exchanges in Japan requires vetting by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association.
Binance Global Expansion
Binance has been on a mission to widen its global reach. Recently, has been able to secure an active license in France, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New Zealand, Poland, Lithuania, and Cyprus.
Re-entry into Japan will mark the 12th nation where regulators have officially sanctioned operations for CZ’s company.
In June 2019, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced its exit from the Japanese market. Now, after a four-year absence, Binance is set to re-enter the Japanese market in June 2023.
The exchange has already begun its preparations by setting up a group of representatives in Japan, led by former Yahoo Japan executive, Koji Takeuchi. According to reports, Binance is currently in negotiations with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) to receive a Payment Services Act license, which would allow it to conduct a wide range of business operations in the country including the launch of new services.
Binance’s decision to re-enter Japan comes as no surprise as the Japanese crypto market has grown significantly since its exit. According to Blockchain.com, Japan is the world’s fourth-largest crypto market, with over 2.6 million users and a market capitalization of $124 billion.
The crypto industry in Japan has evolved significantly since Binance’s exit. In October 2020, the FSA issued an amendment to the Payment Services Act, allowing cryptocurrencies to be used as a legal form of payment in the country. The amendment has caught the attention of many major crypto firms and investors.
Binance’s planned re-entry into Japan is expected to be a boon for the country’s crypto market. By becoming the first major exchange to be licensed in Japan, Binance will be able to provide a secure, globally recognized platform for crypto traders and investors. Moreover, given the exchange’s popularity and liquidity, it can act as a bridge between Japanese investors and global markets.
With its re-entry into the Japanese market planned for June 2023, it appears that Binance is ready to take advantage of the country’s rapidly expanding crypto market. Its entry will undoubtedly bring a fresh wave of opportunities for companies and individuals looking to take advantage of the booming industry.