Binance has recently completed due diligence on the acquisition of Gopax, top 5 Korean exchanges
Binance is said to be stepping up its expansion strategy as it continues to buy Korean exchange Gopax.
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) January 2, 2023
Binance Acquires Top 5 Korean Exchange Gopax
On the afternoon of January 2, many Korean crypto news sources simultaneously reported that Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform, is completing procedures to acquire Gopax, the top 5 trading platform in Korea.
The source confirmed that Binance would buy back 41.2% of Gopax shares from CEO Lee Jun-haeng, but still maintain the current operating system of the exchange.
Gopax is one of the five largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, alongside Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Representatives from both Gopax and Binance declined to comment on the deal.
This is the latest attempt from Binance to enter the Korean market, which has failed due to regulatory hurdles. In 2020, Binance established a sub-platform, Binance Korea, to serve Korean users. However, it had to withdraw because it could not meet financial transparency requirements, anti-money laundering, and investor protection requirements.
Meanwhile, Gopax is a cryptocurrency exchange that has registered a bank account in Korea and has a foothold in this market, although its market share is controlled by 80% by Upbit. Binance will most likely reform Gopax’s operations by listing more new spot trading pairs. Still, supporting derivatives trading like margin or futures will be difficult because Korean law does not allow it.
In the last two months of 2022, Binance also completed an agreement to acquire Japan’s Sakura Exchange BitCoin and Indonesia’s Tokocrypto, two platforms that already have licenses to operate in their respective countries, partly reflecting the company’s current strategy. Binance will enter the market by taking over-regulated businesses rather than rebuilding from scratch and going through a licensing process that will inevitably come under scrutiny.
After the FTX crash, Binance announced the creation of a $1 billion Market Relief Fund, but it’s been over a month without any new updates on the fund’s status.
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