• Binance is set to restart operations in Japan’s crypto market after acquiring licensed trading venue Sakura in November 2022.
  • The Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC) which currently supports 11 trading pairs will cut its services on May 31 and rebrand to “Binance Japan”.
  • Changpeng Zhao’s company will re-enter Japan five years after exiting the country due to regulatory pressure in 2018.

Crypto’s largest centralized trading venue Binance is set to resume operations in Japan after acquiring a locally regulated Bitcoin exchange in November last year and exiting the country five years prior due to regulatory pressure.

News of the platform moving for a crypto license emerged earlier in September last year as previously reported.

Exit Sakura, Enter Binance!

Binance will reclaim a foothold in Japan’s crypto scene through its acquisition of the licensed platform Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC). The deal happened in late 2022 as part of the company’s global expansion strategy. Per reports, Changpeng Zhao’s scooped up 100% equity in SEBC.

The purchase means that CZ’s company can now operate as a Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA) regulated entity after June 2023, complying with the watchdog’s policies. First, SEBC will terminate its current services on May 31.

After that, Sakura will rebrand to Binance Japan. This will finalize the deal and cement the company’s re-entry into the Japanese market.

SEBC CEO Hitomi Yamamoto expressed his delight regarding the deal and rebrand, saying that Binance’s strong compliance system would contribute to building a more compliant atmosphere for users in Japan and that the acquisition would assist users in gaining access to crypto services needed for mass adoption in the future. 

SEBC offers brokerage and consultation services to its customers with support for 11 trading pairs. It’s unclear if the new platform will be allowed to list new tokens given Japan’s strict token listing rules.

Japan has a high regulatory bar for crypto exchanges. It requires the segregation of customer and exchange assets, with most exchange assets to be kept in cold wallets and customers’ fiat to be kept by a Japanese trust company or bank trust. Listing tokens on exchanges in Japan requires vetting by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association.

Binance Global Expansion

Binance has been on a mission to widen its global reach. Recently, has been able to secure an active license in France, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New Zealand, Poland, Lithuania, and Cyprus. 

Re-entry into Japan will mark the 12th nation where regulators have officially sanctioned operations for CZ’s company.