This is the third licensed Asian cryptocurrency exchange Binance has bought this year as it expands its global reach; the company had shown signs of struggling.
Binance has acquired Indonesian crypto asset trader Tokocrypto, according to local reports on Dec. 19. The purchase was confirmed in a tweet by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), who characterized the deal as having “just injected more cash and increased our shareholding a bit.” Changes are expected at the exchange.
Tokocrypto founder Pang Xue Kai will reportedly step down as CEO, to be replaced by Yudhono Rawis as interim chief. Pang Xue Kai will remain on the company’s board of commissioners.
CNBC quotes Pang Xue Kai as saying:
"This decision was made after careful consideration and we decided that the best step for Tokocrypto going forward is to leverage Binance's capabilities to build a further physical trading platform for crypto assets."
Reports emerged on Dec. 6 that Binance was in talks with Tokocrypto, driving the value of its TKO coin up 50%. It was also reported at the time that a round of layoffs would occur if the buyout went through. Tokocrypto laid off 45 people, or 20% of its staff, in September. It also spun off its community space T-Hub and nonfungible token marketplace TokoMall at that time.
Tokocrypto was founded in 2018 and became Indonesia’s first crypto exchange to receive approval from the country’s Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) the following year. That agency’s approval has since become mandatory for crypto exchanges. Seventeen companies had received Bappebti approval by March of this year.
Binance acquired Sakura, a licensed Japanese crypto exchange, in November and MX Global, a licensed Malaysian exchange, in March. By buying companies that are already licensed, Binance can operate without having to obtain a license itself.