Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is poised to re-enter the Japanese market after acquiring the regulated crypto exchange platform Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC). Binance purchased the Japan Financial Services Agency-licensed business in November 2022 to return to the Japanese crypto market.
SEBC shutdown and Binance Japan relaunch
A local daily report states that SEBC plans to cease its existing crypto exchange and brokerage services by May 31 and reopen as Binance Japan sometime after June 2023. The SEBC notice did not provide an official launch date.
SEBC exchange users are required to withdraw their funds before the May 28 deadline. Any remaining funds in user accounts will be automatically converted to Japanese yen by June 5 and transferred to users’ bank accounts. Binance Japan users will need to undergo new identity verification and Know Your Customer procedures.
Binance re-enters Japan after regulatory hurdles
Binance’s return to Japan via an acquired company comes nearly five years after its initial attempt to secure an independent license was unsuccessful. In 2018, Binance had to cease its Japan operations after financial regulators warned it was operating without regulatory approval.
Despite encountering regulatory compliance issues in over a dozen countries, the leading crypto exchange has managed to repair its relationships with regulators. In many cases where it struggled to obtain an independent license, Binance reentered these markets by acquiring stakes in regulated entities.
Before its return to the Japanese market, Binance successfully reentered the Malaysian crypto market by acquiring a stake in a regulated exchange platform. The exchange also re-established its presence in Singapore with an 18% stake in a regulated stock exchange.
Moreover, Binance gained access to the United Kingdom’s sterling payment network through a partnership with Paysafe, despite regulators previously denying access.
Japan was among the first countries to introduce crypto regulations. Although initially viewed as strict, the country has since relaxed regulatory requirements for crypto platforms, making it easier to list new crypto tokens.