Cryptocurrency trading firm Amber Group is putting its expansion plans on hold despite the FTX contagion having “no disruption” to its daily operations, the Financial Times reported on Dec. 9.
Amber has scrapped plans to expand in Europe and the United States as a consequence of exposure to the now-defunct exchange FTX and will focus on institutional clients in Asia, according to managing partner Annabelle Huang.
Huang also said that Amber has been forced to deprioritize its new metaverse project due to the FTX contagion.
Apart from ditching its expansion plans, the firm has reportedly been cutting its headcount. After reportedly laying off up to 40% of its staff in September, the firm continued to lay off employees again in December.
According to Huang, Amber had roughly 10% of its trading capital stuck on FTX, which is not an issue for the company’s daily operations. In line with its plans to continue servicing customers in Asia, Amber has continued working to raise new funding and make new acquisitions.
The Temasek-backed company has raised about $50 million in funding from a new sovereign fund, with the deal to be announced in January. Similar to Amber’s previous $200 million round, the new funding values the firm at $3 billion. The raised amount is only half of what Amber originally expected to secure.
Amber doesn’t consider its ongoing raise to be unsuccessful, Huang said. “We are not under pressure to raise capital,” she noted, adding that it will also announce a major acquisition of a licensed Singaporean business this month.
The news comes shortly after Huang denied allegations of Amber’s insolvency. The executive took to Twitter on Dec. 6 to respond to allegations that Amber was “on the verge of bankruptcy,” stating:
“We continue to operate business as usual. If you have any concerns, withdrawals are open as usual.”
The allegations were made by on-chain analyst Lookonchain, which detected some significant discrepancies between wallets allegedly owned by Amber and the reported funds and trading volumes.