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First Mover Americas: Sunset for Kraken in Japan

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Crypto exchange Kraken is closing shop in Japan. (Shutterstock)

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This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken said it will exit Japan and deregister from the Financial Services Agency as of Jan. 31. The decision was prompted by “current market conditions in Japan in combination with a weak crypto market globally,” the company said in a blog post. Kraken users in the country have until the end of next month to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings, with the option of transferring crypto to another wallet or wiring Japanese yen to a local bank.

Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain will avoid filing for bankruptcy protection after it agreed to sell its Helios mining facility in Dickens Country, Texas, to Galaxy Digital for $65 million. The miner will also get a new $35 million loan from financier Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused financial-services firm, which will be secured by Argo’s mining equipment. The transaction will help Argo bolster its balance sheet and avoid bankruptcy after it found itself in a precarious situation when a deal for $27 million in funding fell through in October.

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. In an affidavit provided to a Caribbean court before his arrest, Bankman-Fried said he and FTX co-founder Gary Wang together borrowed over $546 million from Alameda via promissory notes in April and May. They used that money to capitalize Emergent Fidelity Technologies Ltd., the shell corporation that in May bought a 7.6% stake of Robinhood.

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