Amber Group is Considering the Sale of its Japanese Arm
- Popular crypto lending firm Amber Group, based in Singapore, is currently considering the sale of its Japanese arm.
- The managing partner at Amber Group, Annabelle Huang, is currently involved in the evaluation of options for the company’s Japan operations.
- Huang stated that Japan is a “very high quality market, but regulations are strict.”
- The lending platform recently raised $300 million in a Series C funding round from Fenbushi Capital US.
- The FSA, recently warned investors that firms like MEXC, Binance, Bybit, and BitForex, were operating in Japan illegally and without registration.
Japan is gradually becoming pro-crypto after imposing harsh restrictions on the trading and storage of digital assets. Interestingly, the government in the region is also considering easing the policies regarding the operations of crypto firms despite the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which also had a unit in the Asian country. Amid this situation, popular crypto lending firm Amber Group, based in Singapore, is currently considering the sale of its Japanese arm.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the managing partner at Amber Group, Annabelle Huang, is currently involved in the evaluation of options for the company’s Japan operations and is also considering a potential sale of the assets. However, it is important to note that a buyer hasn’t been selected and the company hasn’t made a deal with any other entity as of now.
Huang stated that Japan is a “very high quality market, but regulations are strict.” On the other hand, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has announced that it will be re-entering the Japanese market after four years with the acquisition of a Japanese crypto firm called Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).
Interestingly, the crypto exchange withdrew from the region after receiving a warning for operating without a license in 2018 from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). However, as reported recently by Bitnation, in early April, the FSA warned investors that some foreign exchanges, including MEXC, Binance, Bybit, and BitForex, were operating illegally without adequate registration.
The FSA established new rules in 2020, according to which it is necessary for cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the regulatory body and acquire a license to conduct business in Japan. Meanwhile, the regulator also announced that it would rescind the ban imposed on stablecoins like USDT and USDC in the country. In June 2022, the Japanese parliament passed a bill to restrict non-banking institutions from issuing or distributing stablecoin in the nation.
Amid these developments in Japan, Amber Group aims to sell its Japanese unit and is aiming to expand operations in Hong Kong, a city that is going against the ideologies followed by mainland China and aims to turn into a crypto hub.
The country has already issued a draft for the regulation of digital assets, which contains many pro-crypto features and also plans to allow retail crypto trading. The draft has been submitted for suggestions and will become law on June 1, 2023.
In the light of these events, it is crucial to note that Amber Group recently raised $300 million in a Series C funding round from Fenbushi Capital US. While the firm aimed to complete an extension to its Series B+ at a $3 billion valuation, it changed its fundraising tactics due to the implosion of crypto exchange FTX last year.
The crypto lending platform has been suffering from capital issues since the onset of the crypto bear market last year. It also recently laid off 10% of its employees due to the bearish crypto market.