Binance is set to make a comeback in Japan after acquiring the regulated cryptocurrency exchange platform Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC). Binance purchased the Japan Financial Services Agency-licensed business in November 2022 with the aim of reestablishing its presence in the Japanese crypto market.
SEBC transformation and launch timeline
A local daily report informed that SEBC plans to cease its existing crypto exchange and brokerage services by May 31 and reopen as Binance Japan after June 2023. No official launch date has been announced in the SEBC notice.
SEBC exchange users are required to withdraw their funds before the May 28 deadline. Any remaining funds will be automatically converted to Japanese yen by June 5 and transferred to users’ bank accounts. New identity verification and Know Your Customer checks will be required for Binance Japan users.
Binance’s return to Japan after regulatory challenges
Binance’s reentry into Japan through an acquired entity comes nearly five years after its initial attempt to secure an independent license failed. In 2018, Binance had to shut down its Japan operations after being warned by financial regulators for operating without the necessary regulatory approval.
Despite facing 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 re-entering 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. In addition, 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 the regulatory requirements were initially considered strict, the country has since relaxed regulations for crypto platforms, making it easier to list new digital assets.