Binance is Back in South Korea With Latest Acquisition: Report

Binance has purchased 41% of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX, per local media


Source: Shutterstock / ESB Professional, modified by Blockworks


Crypto exchange giant Binance is once again making moves in South Korea, as it is reportedly acquiring a major stake in local exchange GOPAX.

According to Korean crypto news website Decenter, the largest centralized exchange in the world is finalizing an acquisition which was supposedly meant to close around Christmas last year. 

Binance will be buying a 41.2% stake from GOPAX CEO Lee Jun-Haeng, who will remain at the exchange once the sale is finalized.

GOPAX is already one of the five largest crypto exchanges in South Korea. A majority of the domestic market dominated by Upbit, followed by other popular exchanges Bithumb, Coinone and Korbit. 

A second attempt at South Korean market for Binance

If confirmed, the investment marks an evolution of Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s strategy for the country; the centralized exchange previously terminated its operations in South Korea, citing low usage and limited trading volumes on its stablecoin BKRW, linked to the Korean won. 

“Following the closure of the exchange, the Binance KR team will reassess its market strategy based on the resources and experience gained from operating a local exchange,” the company wrote in a blog post dated Dec. 24, 2020.

The latest GOPAX acquisition may provide an alternative solution for Binance to enter a market known for its strict restrictions on digital asset operators.

That being said, South Korea is one of many on Binance’s expansion roadmap. 

The exchange has been actively making moves to expand its influence in cryptocurrency markets across the world, securing regulatory approvals in countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Poland, Lithuania and Cyprus.

Most recently, it acquired highly regulated cryptocurrency exchange Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC) in Japan.

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