Binance Eyes Japanese Market with Yahoo Japan, TaoTao Partnership
Binance has revealed that it is “preparing to launch trading services for users in Japan” – and is currently in advanced talks with the operator of Yahoo Japan, which runs a licensed cryptocurrency exchange in the country.
In an official post, Binance stated that it has “entered into a strategic partnership discussion” with Z Corporation, and the holding company Z Holdings Corporation, which runs Yahoo Japan, one of the country’s biggest search engines and internet platforms.
The company began life as a partnership between America’s Yahoo and Japanese business giant SoftBank, which holds a 48% stake in Yahoo Japan. The American company is no longer associated with Yahoo Japan. And Yahoo Japan, in turn, owns a controlling stake in the recently rebranded TaoTao exchange.
The exchange, formerly known as BitARG, was one of the first to receive an operating license from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA). The regulator has a notoriously strict compliance policy, and an off-putting application backlog.
As such, many Japanese companies have sought to buy up smaller already-licensed exchanges.
Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to talk up the partnership deal, writing,
“Many non-Japanese may not understand the significance of this. […] Couldn't ask for a better partner than TaoTao in Japan.”
The partnership could potentially throw the Japanese crypto world wide open.
Softbank already has a number of irons in the blockchain and cryptocurrency fire, and has made significant blockchain-related investments in the past few years. Yahoo Japan has integrated Ripple's MoneyTap technology into its PayPay mobile-based e-pay solution.
And readers may recall that a deal-in-principle is still on the table for Yahoo Japan over a possible merger with Line, Japan’s biggest chat app. Line’s biggest shareholder is Naver, a South Korean internet giant. Line operates a number of crypto exchanges, including an FSA-licensed trading platform in Japan.
The move could well be part of a concerted Binance effort to break into the lucrative East Asian market. Rival exchange Huobi has already established fast-growing exchanges in both Seoul and Tokyo. Last year, Binance struck a partnership with a subsidiary of South Korea’s Kakao, the operator of the Klaytn blockchain platform.
Binance has previously been warned off by the FSA, which specifies that even overseas-based exchanges may not actively target Japanese customers without an operating permit. As reported, the company said yesterday that Binance.com will be phasing out the provision of services to Japanese residents and will gradually restrict transactions for them.
And per Business Korea, Binance has now made an unspecified investment in South Korean stablecoin issuer and blockchain startup BXB.
The media outlet quotes Binance as stating,
“We are drawing up a long-term plan to lead the South Korean cryptocurrency market.”
At pixel time, binance coin (BNB), the native token of the exchange, trades at c. USD 18 and is up 9% in a day and 27% in a week.