Binance is expanding into new markets even as the crypto industry grapples with turmoil unleashed by the spectacular collapse of crypto exchange FTX.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange has acquired Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC), a crypto exchange registered in Japan, Binance said on its website Wednesday. The deal would allow Binance to enter the world’s third biggest economy as a regulated entity.
The purchase of SEBC marks Binance’s first license in East Asia, the company said. It did not disclose the terms of the transaction.
“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.”
The acquisition comes at a time when the digital assets industry is struggling with the financial contagion unleashed by the fall of FTX.
Last month, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao offered a lifeline to Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, who was once one of the most respected leaders in the industry.
But Binance almost immediately pulled out, saying that after reviewing FTX’s finances it had concluded that the company’s problems were “beyond our control or ability to help.”
The deal quickly fell apart, paving the way for FTX’s bankruptcy filing and the resignation of Bankman-Fried.
Zhao later announced that to mitigate any further damage from the collapse of FTX, his team would establish “an industry recovery fund, to help projects who are otherwise strong, but in a liquidity crisis.”
In a virtual appearance the New York Times’ DealBook Summit in New York on Wednesday, Bankman-Fried said he “didn’t ever try to commit fraud on anyone,” while admitting that he “screwed up.”
“There are things I would do anything to do over again,” the 30-year old said. “I was shocked by what happened this month.”