Binance gets first East Asia license through Sakura (SEBC) purchase

Category: Asia Crypto M&A

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it will have its first East Asia license after purchasing Japan’s Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC).

SEBC is a Japan Financial Services Agency regulated exchange that offers both brokerage services and consultancy, Binance said in a blog post. It supports 11 trading pairs. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“The Japanese market will play a key role in the future of cryptocurrency adoption,” said Takeshi Chino, general manager of Binance Japan. “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.”

Hitomi Yamamoto, CEO of SEBC said the tie up with Binance would help towards building a compliant atmosphere for users in Japan.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has been calling for greater transparency in the industry following the collapse of FTX, which triggered a round of new bankruptcy protection filings from smaller crypto exchanges.

The exchange had initially announced plans to buy the ailing FTX, but in a turbulent week pulled out of the transaction just days later after seeing more of the exchange’s finances. 

Earlier this month, Binance said it would set up an industry recovery fund to help those facing cash shortages as a result of the FTX crisis. 

The acquisition of SEBC sees Binance enter Japan as a regulated entity about a year after it was warned by regulators there for conducting unauthorised transactions. 

Japan was one of the first countries to regulate crypto after the high-profile collapse of Mt. Gox in 2014. Now all companies operating in the country must be authorised by the FSA. 


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