• Amber Group, a Singapore-based crypto lender, is considering selling its Japanese unit as part of its plan to focus more on institutional business.
• Amber is also planning to apply for a virtual asset trading platform license in Hong Kong in order to take advantage of the region’s new regulations.
• In December 2022, the firm secured $300 million during a Series C funding round led by Fenbushi Capital US.
Amber Group Strategic Shift
Crypto lender Amber Group is considering selling its Japan unit as part of a strategic shift toward institutional business, away from retail business. According to managing partner Annabelle Huang, the company is currently evaluating options for its Japan operation and no deal has been finalized yet. She noted that while Japan is considered a “very high quality market”, regulations are strict.
Amber Applying for Hong Kong License
Amber Group plans to apply for a virtual asset trading platform license in Hong Kong following the special administrative region’s push to become a digital-asset hub. Huang said that the regulatory scene in Hong Kong has been very bullish for the firm and they hope to take advantage of it with their new application. She also commented that while Singapore has been tightening its rules on cryptocurrencies recently, they are not completely closing off the door either.
In December 2022, Amber Group secured $300 million in a Series C funding round led by Fenbushi Capital US. The decision came after the collapse of FTX caused them to pause their previous Series B funding which was aiming to raise $100 million at a $3 billion valuation. In addition, this had an operational impact on Amber as well with over 40% of staff being laid off due to it’s effect on business operations.
Impact of Regulations
The potential sale and application for licence reflect the changing regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies around Asia and how both retailers and financial institutions need to adjust accordingly depending on those changes or risk failing behind their competitors who can capitalise effectively on them. With laws becoming stricter due to recent events such as FTX’s collapse but at least not completely closed off in some countries like Singapore there seems be room still left open for firms such as Amber who can move quickly enough with these changes while protecting investors interests using measures such as licences and sales or acquisitions when needed or deemed necessary.
Overall it appears that despite some setbacks due recent events such as FTX’s collapse Amber Group still remain positive about their future prospects based on moves such as applying for licences in more favourable regions like Hong Kong or even considering sales or acquisitions when necessary . It will be interesting moving forward too see how successful these actions will be once implemented by the company and if other firms follow suit making similar moves based upon regional law changes related cryptocurrencies