Japanese crypto exchange TaoTao acquired by SBI after partnership talks with Binance ended

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange TaoTao has been acquired by financial services group SBI, just two days after TaoTao ended partnership talks with Binance.

Announcing the news on Wednesday, TaoTao said it would now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Liquidity Market. SBI acquired 100% shares of TaoTao from Z Fund No. 1 Investment (formerly Yahoo Japan) for an undisclosed amount.

TaoTao ended negotiations with Binance for a strategic partnership on Monday, which began in January of this year. Binance had plans to enter Japan via TaoTao, which is a licensed crypto exchange in the country. It is not clear why the negotiations ended, a Binance spokesperson told The Block:

"After careful examination of our negotiations with TaoTao Inc., we decided not to further pursue our efforts for the alliance...Binance is committed to exploring other avenues of growth for the region in a compliant manner."

SBI already operates its own licensed crypto exchange, SBI VC Trade, in Japan. The company said TaoTao's acquisition would help it to expand the crypto business further. "We will make maximum use of...the customer base and service know-how of the crypto assets that TaoTao has cultivated so far," said SBI. TaoTao was launched in May 2019.

Japan's crypto exchange ecosystem is diversified, as The Block Research reported recently. The country currently has a total of 26 licensed crypto exchanges.

This story has been updated to include comments from a Binance spokesperson.