In response to local media reports that it is in advanced talks to acquire the South Korean digital asset exchange Gopax, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, declined to comment.
Attempting to negotiate with Lee Jun-haeng, the founder and largest shareholder of Gopax, Binance plans to keep Lee in his current role as CEO, according to a local news outlet, Decenter, which quoted an unnamed industry official.
Gopax is one of the five South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges (Upbit, Bitsum, Coinone, Corbit, and Gopax) that have been granted permission to provide customers with fiat-to-crypto services.
Gopax, the fifth and last business to be granted a license, controls less than 0.1 percent of the market for cryptocurrencies in Korea, while Upbit, the dominant player, controls more than 80%.
The exchange began to expand its domestic business in earnest in February of last year after linking its real name account with Jeonbuk Bank and posting its name as a won currency exchange. However, a liquidity crisis occurred as a result of a string of unfavorable news, including the bankruptcy of FTX and global austerity measures.
Binance has been making consistent attempts to break into the Korean market, but due to the financial authorities' strict restrictions on what is required of virtual asset operators for reasons like investor protection and anti-money laundering, they gave up on a direct entry and discovered a diversion. According to the interpretation, the two companies' interests are congruent, and this contract is moving quickly.
Upbit currently dominates the Korean cryptocurrency industry, but if Binance, which has substantial resources, undertakes aggressive marketing with Gopax at the forefront, a big shift in public opinion might result. Binance declined to provide a formal response about this acquisition, and Gopax informed Decenter:
There is also a chance that Gopax will serve as a launching pad for accessing East Asia's native cryptocurrency industry. The contact point between the Korean market and foreign investors can be broadened during the process of actively interfering in management since Binance is more than simply a shareholder, and opportunities to join the global market can be opened through Gopax.
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, announced that the exchange is preparing to enter the South Korean market in November. Binance and the city of Busan collaborated last year to build its blockchain ecosystem, which included establishing a regional office there.
The completion of the due diligence for a new business partnership with the biggest global blockchain infrastructure company was revealed by Gopax on December 31. Although the statement refers to a non-disclosure agreement, several media outlets think the unnamed company is Binance.