Crypto exchange operator Binance has entered Japan by acquiring the locally licensed exchange Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition marks Binance’s first license in East Asia, the company announced Wednesday. Binance has recently secured regulatory approvals or authorizations in France, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Poland, Lithuania and Cyprus.
SEBC was founded in 2017 and received its license from Japan's Financial Services Agency (JFSA) last month. SEBC offers consultation and brokerage services. It currently supports 11 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.
The deal marks Binance's re-entry into Japan. Last year, JFSA issued another warning against Binance, saying that the company is still operating in the country without registration. Binance, at the time, said it "does not currently hold exchange operations in Japan, nor do we actively solicit Japanese users."
“The Japanese market will play a key role in the future of cryptocurrency adoption," Takeshi Chino, general manager of Binance Japan, said in the announcement. "As one of the world’s leading economies with a highly-developed tech ecosystem, it’s already poised for strong blockchain uptake. We will actively work with regulators to develop our combined exchange in a compliant way for local users. We are eager to help Japan take a leading role in crypto.”
In a separate (but related) announcement today, Binance said it will not accept new users in Japan to its main Binance.com website, effective today. “Existing users will not be affected by the changes, and can continue to use products and service offerings on Binance.com,” the company said.
The move means SEBC will accept new users; a Binance spokesperson told The Block when contacted. “SEBC accepts new users until further notice, and SEBC will continue providing its existing services," they said. "As we acquired a 100% stake in SEBC, the SEBC team will gradually integrate into Binance’s organization and the users will integrate into Binance platform accordingly.”
Updated the story with comments from a Binance spokesperson.
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