(Bloomberg) -- Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, bought a Japan crypto exchange service provider to re-enter a market it said will play a “key role” in the future of cryptocurrency adoption. 

The firm acquired 100% of Sakura Exchange BitCoin, paving the way for it to enter Japan as a regulated entity, Binance said in a statement on Wednesday. The purchase will give Binance its first license in East Asia, according to the statement. 

Binance’s acquisition comes amid turmoil in the digital assets industry in the aftermath of the collapse of rival FTX. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We will actively work with regulators to develop our combined exchange in a compliant way for local users,” said Takeshi Chino, general manager of Binance Japan. “We are eager to help Japan take a leading role in crypto.”

Binance’s billionaire co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao in 2018 ditched a plan to build a base in Japan, following inquiries from the securities regulator that led to an official notice to stop operating in the country without a license. It got a similar warning three years later for not complying with registration rules. 

More recently, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s agenda for reinvigorating the economy under the rubric of “New Capitalism” includes support for the growth of so-called web3 firms. The term refers to a vision of a decentralized internet built around blockchains, crypto’s underlying technology.


©2022 Bloomberg L.P.