Crypto Exchange Binance Eyes Return to Japan, 4 Years After Exit: Report



Four years after pulling out of Japan, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, will seek a license to operate in the country.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the country’s friendlier approach to crypto and the substantial opportunities to onboard new users attracted the exchange back to Japan.

The move comes as Japan looks to adopt more Web3-friendly policies under its new prime minister, Fumio Kishida. 

His hunt for a “New Capitalism” solution to Japan’s sluggish growth and growing inequality has led the country’s politicians to start working on wide-ranging policies, from reforming crypto and NFT taxation to attracting crypto talent. 

In a May speech in London’s financial district, Kishida further said Japan “will develop an environment for the promotion of Web3, such as blockchain, NFTs and the metaverse.”

A spokesperson told Bloomberg that Binance is “committed to working with regulators and policymakers to shape policies that protect consumers, encourage innovation, and move our industry forward,” but declined to comment on Binance’s Japan plans.

Binance and Japan

Should Binance be successful in securing a license, it will face some stiff competition: big players like Crypto.com and FTX already operate in Japan, while earlier this year, a company backed by  Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek bought crypto exchange DeCurret, which has operated in the country since 2018.

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Japan’s more open attitude towards crypto is in contrast with that of many other countries, like the U.S. and the UK, especially following the crypto crash that wiped out some $2 trillion from digital asset markets and forced many firms to close up shop. 

But the country’s government doesn’t want to appear reckless, having passed a bill in June that forces stablecoins to be fiat-backed by legal tender, like the Japanese yen.

Binance last operated in Japan in 2018, before Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) told it to stop trading as it didn’t have a license. 

In 2021, the FSA issued another warning to the company, this time for failing to register with the regulator.

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