• Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced that it will deregister from the Financial Services Agency and exit Japan as of January 31.
• Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain agreed to sell its Helios mining facility in Texas to Galaxy Digital for $65 million and will receive a $35 million loan from Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused financial-services firm.
• Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from Alameda Research, the trading firm he owned, to purchase his stake in trading app Robinhood Markets.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have been experiencing a lot of changes and adaptations in recent months, with Kraken being the latest one to make major adjustments. Kraken, a large global cryptocurrency exchange, recently announced plans to deregister from the Financial Services Agency (FSA) and exit Japan as of January 31. The decision was made due to a combination of “current market conditions in Japan in combination with a weak crypto market globally” according to a blog post from the exchange. All Kraken users in Japan have until the end of the month to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings, either transferring their crypto to another wallet or wiring Japanese yen to a local bank.
Another major player in the cryptocurrency industry, bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain, also made some important changes recently. In order to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection, Argo Blockchain agreed to sell its Helios mining facility in Dickens Country, Texas, to Galaxy Digital for $65 million. Argo will also receive a new $35 million loan from financier Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused financial-services firm. This loan will be secured by Argo’s mining equipment. The transaction will help Argo bolster its balance sheet and avoid bankruptcy after a deal for $27 million in funding fell through in October.
Finally, former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried recently made headlines for his decision to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars from Alameda Research, the trading firm he owned, to purchase his stake in trading app Robinhood Markets. In an affidavit provided to a Caribbean court before his arrest, Bankman-Fried said he and FTX co-founder Gary Wang had used the borrowed funds to purchase equity in Robinhood and that he had personally borrowed $200 million from Alameda for the purchase.
These three major moves in the cryptocurrency industry highlight the ever-changing and unpredictable nature of the market. As more and more companies enter the space and more investors look to capitalize on the potential of digital assets, it’s clear that the industry is in a state of constant flux. It remains to be seen what other changes and developments will arise in the coming months.