With the acquisition of Gopax, a local crypto trading platform, Binance is returning to South Korea.
In a move that re-enters South Korea after exiting it two years ago, Binance has acquired a majority stake in the Digital Currency Group-backed Gopax. Binance committed $1 billion to a finance-initiated investment initiative known as the Industry Recovery Initiative, which funded the transaction.
A key responsibility of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is to protect not only crypto users, but also the crypto industry, he said. As a result of the events of last year, the Industry Recovery Initiative was created to assist promising companies. “We hope this step with GOPAX will help rebuild the Korean crypto and blockchain industry,” he said.
According to Yibo Ling, Binance has acquired a “meaningful” equity position at Gopax, without divulging the terms of the acquisition. The deal was originally supposed to be announced last year, when Binance purchased a 41% stake from Gopax’s largest shareholder, Lee Jun-hang.
Following the collapse of the FTX exchange in November 2022, Gopax halted withdrawals from certain products.
Due to issues experienced by now-bankrupt crypto lending firm Genesis Global Capital, Gopax halted withdrawals of principal and interest in its decentralized finance (DeFi) service GoFi. According to reports, Genesis was the second largest shareholder and a key business partner of Gopax before it filed for bankruptcy.
By acquiring Gopax, Binance plans to invest the new capital in customer withdrawals and interest payments for GoFi on the exchange. In addition to promoting crypto education, the initiative is intended to work closely with South Korean regulators and virtual asset stakeholders.
“The purpose of this deal was to support customers and ensure that those who wish to withdraw their funds could do so,” Ling said.