Hong Kong Crypto Unicorn Considers Direct US Listing

Hong Kong-based financial services provider Amber Group is considering a direct U.S. listing. In conversation with South China Morning Post Co-founder and CEO Michael Wu said it could go public within the next two years.

“Direct listing is definitely under consideration. Perhaps next year or a year from now. We are working on it. The US is the most likely location, but we are considering other options, ”Wu said.

Amber Group was founded in 2017 by immigrants from the investment bank Morgan Stanley. The company manages assets worth over $ 1.5 billion and employs over 400 people.

In June, the firm closed a Series B funding round led by China Renaissance. Amber Group raised $ 100 million, and its valuation reached $ 1 billion.

The company serves institutional and retail investors. She offers them crypto-saving accounts, as well as services related to algorithmic and high-frequency trading, OTC-deals, derivatives and lending.

According to Wu, the listing is not needed so that “some people can cash out.” The procedure will allow the company to increase brand awareness, attract talent and reduce funding costs.

Certain aspects of Amber Group’s operations, such as the crypto-savings accounts mentioned above, may cause concern for US regulators. Earlier, the Bitcoin exchange Coinbase refused to launch a similar product – the reason was the possible legal prosecution from the side SEC.

Wu stressed that his company seeks to increase its presence in the US market, therefore, “will play by American rules.” He explained that Amber Group will block access of American customers to certain products if required by regulatory authorities.

“I think the US takes a more conservative approach when it comes to cryptocurrencies than the rest of the world. Most of our business is located in other countries. We will consider the cases of each jurisdiction separately, ”Wu said.

He added that Amber Group’s loan products have already received approval in several countries.

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Recall that in September, regulators in the American states of Texas, New Jersey and Alabama accused the Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency lending service, of trading unregistered securities.

Crypto-lending platform BlockFi faced similar claims – supervisors of Texas, Vermont, New Jersey and Alabama are checking the offer of savings accounts BEER on the subject of legality.

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