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Billion-dollar crypto trading powerhouse Amber Group is targeting a US IPO listing

Amber Group co-founder and CEO Michael Wu revealed in an interview with the South China Morning Post that the Hong Kong-based crypto service provider is interested in going public in the US within the next two years.

Since Amber’s asset management business enables customers to earn interest on deposited crypto assets, current regulatory scrutiny makes it uncertain whether the company will be able to offer its prime product in certain markets. 

Going public

According to Wu, a direct listing in the US is “definitely on the table, probably next year or the year after.”

He explained that despite regulatory uncertainty regarding interest-bearing products the company is looking to enlarge its footprint in the US.

In order to bite into the US market pie, Amber Group will play by US rules to serve the country’s customers, added Wu, as he resolved that the company will not offer crypto lending products if it is not allowed to.

The largest crypto trading platform in the US, Coinbase, clashed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently and decided to shelve plans for its own interest-bearing product called Lend. 

Rules surrounding lending products raised a lot of dust following the US regulator’s threat to take legal action over what it deemed to be an unregistered security.

“The US, when it comes to crypto, I think has taken a more conservative approach than regulators in this part of the world or elsewhere,” Wu said, as he reflected on the varied level of strictness surrounding crypto rules across the globe. 

“But most of our businesses are elsewhere. In each jurisdiction we’ll evaluate case by case,” he concluded.

Going global

He clarified that going public is not about letting some people “cash out”, but rather to raise brand awareness, attract talent and lower funding costs.

“The US is a likely destination, but we’re open-minded,” Wu continued, without being shy about the company’s agenda to expand its presence in the global market, amidst the racing adoption.

According to Wu, the lending product has already gotten a green light in multiple jurisdictions. 

Without disclosing where Amber’s largest user base is located, Wu attested that the company has “a very large presence both in Asia and in the broader Americas”.

The Hong Kong crypto unicorn manages more than $1.5 billion in crypto assets while catering to both institutional and retail investors.

Three months ago, the company raised $100 million in series B funding, attracting investors such as China Renaissance Group, Tiger Brokers, Gobi Partners and Coinbase Global.

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