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Binance buys Sakura in a bid to make a fresh entry into Japan

As Sakura is licensed by JFSA, Binance's 100 per cent acquisition of Sakura allows it to operate in the Japanese market as a regulated entity

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Dec 1, 2022 04:16:18 PM IST
Updated: Dec 1, 2022 06:08:43 PM IST

Binance buys Sakura in a bid to make a fresh entry into JapanImage: Shutterstock

A year after Japanese regulators warned it about its unauthorised activities in the country, Binance, the world's biggest crypto exchange, made a fresh bid to enter Japan with a deal to buy Japanese crypto exchange service provider Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).

Binance said that it believes Japan will play a 'key role' in the future of crypto adoption. Sakura holds a local licence approved by the FSA of Japan and offers trading of some coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, against the yen.

As Sakura is licensed by Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA), Binance's 100 per cent acquisition of Sakura allows it to operate in the Japanese market as an entity regulated by JFSA. Through this purchase, Binance will acquire its first licence in East Asia. Binance did not disclose the terms of this transaction.

Binance has had a controversial past in Japan, with Japanese regulators repeatedly warning its users that Binance is conducting unauthorised transactions. Japan was among the first countries to regulate crypto trading after the high-profile failure of Mt Gox crypto exchange in 2014.

It's mandatory for companies conducting business in the country to be authorised by the Financial Services Agency to be able to legally trade with the citizens of Japan.

Binance received its second warning from the FSA last year, which warned the consumers that Binance was conducting unauthorised sales in Japan. The first warning came in 2018 and for the same reason.

FSA confirmed that Binance's acquisition of Sakura does not require regulatory approval, but a spokesperson for the FSA added that FSA would continue to monitor the exchange for any lapse in the company's legal compliance due to any change in shareholder structure leading to a change in internal controls and systems. Binance declined to comment anything on the same.

Binance's acquisition of Sakura comes at a time when there's a lot of FUD among the general public about crypto following the dramatic collapse of rival crypto exchange FTX. The overnight fall of FTX has crippled the industry.

General manager of Binance Japan, Takeshi Chino, said that the future of crypto assets is very bright in Japan. "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," he added.

Shashank is founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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