Binance acquires Sakura; BlockFi files for bankruptcy protection

Binance is once again getting back into the Japanese crypto market. The company purchased the crypto exchange Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC). Binance can reenter the Japanese market through the acquisition of SEBC which is already registered with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Binance said in an email that they feel that SEBC shares the same goal for the Japanese market after doing a major due diligence process. The spokesperson claimed that the country will play a crucial role in the continued acceptance of crypto given the size of its economy and its great potential in the expanding Web3 industry.

When it comes to the Japanese market, Binance has tried and failed before. The giant crypto exchange has been warned twice by the FSA for running without permission in the country. However, when it comes to Japan’s online crypto casino industry, the market remains unbothered and growing more successful each year.

In 2018, Japanese government agencies issued a warning concerning Binance, stating that Japanese citizens were still able to use the site despite the exchange not having a licence. The same warning was issued again in June 2021, despite assertions in 2018 that the exchange had left the nation.

The company declared its intention to re-enter the Japanese market in September 2022 and submitted a request for a business licence to the FSA. Financial authorities and Binance have been arguing back and forth for years.

Despite repeated claims that it has no headquarters, the company had run-ins with law enforcement in Malta, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The Dutch central bank penalised the crypto exchange $3.3 million earlier in 2022 for operating without a local licence. Meanwhile, Binance has been met with a more welcoming reaction from other nations, including France, Spain, and Italy.

BlockFi files for bankruptcy protection

Following the collapse of the FTX exchange in November 2022, major crypto lender BlockFi has announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection along with eight affiliates. With Bitcoin (BTC) down more than 70% from its 2021 high, the filing in a New Jersey court on November 28, 2022, comes as crypto prices collapse.

Located in New Jersey, BlockFi was linked to FTX, an exchange that filed for bankruptcy in early November 2022. This was after traders withdrew $6 billion off the site in three days and rival exchange Binance backed out of a rescue arrangement.

BlockFi named FTX as its second-largest creditor in a court filing submitted on November 28, 2022, citing a $275 million debt from a loan made earlier this year. In July 2022, BlockFi and FTX agreed on a transaction in which BlockFi would acquire a $400 million revolving credit line and FTX would be given the option to purchase BlockFi for up to $240 million.

The bankruptcy filing by BlockFi follows those of two of its major rivals, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital. These companies both declared bankruptcy in July 2022 due to the severe market conditions they were experiencing and the losses they were piling up.

Crypto lenders experienced a period of rapid growth as they offered double-digit interest rates on customer deposits in exchange for crypto. Meanwhile, lenders reaped the benefits of increased interest rates paid by established investors like hedge funds who were borrowing the money to make leveraged bets.

Despite the turmoil that the crypto industry is experiencing today, the online crypto casino industry remains unfazed by the changes. Thanks to the continuous rise of online betting platforms in Japan and other countries, the crypto betting market remains steadfast.