Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has returned to South Korea after a two-year break by acquiring a majority stake in distressed local cryptocurrency exchange GOPAX, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

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Fast facts

  • Through the deal, Binance plans to inject capital into the exchange so that customer withdrawals and interest payments can be made for GOPAX’s yield product, GoFi, which froze withdrawals in November after suffering from the collapse of now-bankrupt lender Genesis Global. 
  • Yibo Ling, the chief business officer at Binance, said the company has taken a “meaningful” equity position in GOPAX, though the term details weren’t disclosed, according to the Bloomberg report. 
  • Earlier this month, a local news outlet had reported that Binance was seeking to buy a 41.2% stake in GOPAX, citing an unnamed industry official. Binance declined to comment on the reports. 
  • Funding for the recent purchase reportedly came from a Binance-started co-investment project called the Industry Recovery Initiative, which aims to help firms suffering from the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Binance has pledged US$1 billion to the initiative.
  • In November, Binance chief Changpeng Zhao said that the exchange was preparing to enter the South Korean market after pulling out in 2021 due to what it called tightened local regulations.

See related article: Binance declines comment on speculation it may buy South Korean crypto exchange GOPAX