Binance enters Japanese market through Sakura Exchange Bitcoin acquisition

Leading crypto exchange Binance has acquired Japanese exchange Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC), gaining a foothold in the Japanese market.

In a November 30 statement, Binance did not reveal the terms of transaction. It said only that the company aims to support a responsible environment for cryptocurrencies through SEBC, which is a licensed operator in Japan.

At a shareholders’ meeting held on the same day, SEBC decided to transfer all shares to Binance (AP) Holdings Limited and appoint Takeshi Chino (Representative Director) and Leon Foong (Director) as new directors. Hitomi Yamamoto, a former representative director, will become a director without representative rights. 

SEBC is registered as a “crypto asset exchanger” under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Agency and the Finance Bureau. SEBC is one of the 31 crypto asset exchanges authorized to operate in Japan, as of October 31. The company currently handles 11 crypto asset pairs: BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, ETC, XEM, MONA, ADA, XYM, COT, and Japanese yen.

Binance has received regulatory approvals and licenses in Europe and Middle Eastern countries, but the acquisition of SEBC “marks its first license in East Asia,” according to the company.

Regarding Binance’s entry into the Japanese market, Bloomberg News Agency reported in September that the company was considering registering as a crypto asset exchange operator. The Financial Services Agency had twice previously issued warnings to Binance for operating as an “unregistered” crypto asset exchanger in Japan.