Annabelle Huang is a partner at Amber Group. She started her career in traditional finance on Wall Street, New York, but she had always been fascinated by crypto. So, she resolved to leave Wall Street and seek a career in crypto finance. She will be speaking at the upcoming World Blockchain Summit in Dubai.
The CoinQuora team had an interview with Annabelle to help us know her, what she does at Amber Group, and to tell us some of her thoughts on topics relating to the industry. Without waiting any longer, let’s dive into the interview.
Q. Please give us an introduction of yourself. What’s your background?
Hi everyone, I’m Annabelle, currently a partner at Amber Group. Before I joined the crypto world, I worked at Deutsche Bank New York, then at Nomura, both in FX — after getting my Math and Finance degree at CMU.
Q. How did you get into cryptocurrency? What was the motivation?
I have always been fascinated by the genius game theory-filled incentive designs by bitcoin. Also, how we can build a truly trustless system based on the consensus mechanism, and how this could revolutionize finance and technology. So I decided to leave wall street and pursue a career in crypto finance. I joined fellow CMU alumni at AirSwap, a decentralized peer-to-peer trading platform built on Ethereum. But at the time, it was too early for DeFi to gain mass adoption given underlying tech was still too nascent.
Q. How did you join your current company? Could you tell us about the business?
Around the time I joined fellow CMU alumni at AirSwap, I got to know the Amber Group founders in HK and saw the potential of its global platform and being at the intersection of both CeFi and DeFi, an all-in-one crypto finance company so I eventually moved over. We are now a team of 400+ people providing 24/7 global coverage for users worldwide.
Q. What would you say made your company stand out? What makes differentiates it from other crypto fintech companies?
Amber Group was described as the “Goldman Sachs of crypto” by media outlets for our dominance in market share worldwide. This year, we’ve furthered our footprint with our retail-facing product suite, hoping to reach users in more regions such as Turkey, Russia, LatAm, and beyond. In 2019, Amber Group raised $28 million in a Series A funding round led by global crypto heavyweights Paradigm and Pantera, with participation from Polychain Capital, Dragonfly Capital, Blockchain.com, Fenbushi Capital, and Coinbase Ventures. In 2021, we’ve recently achieved fintech unicorn status after our latest funding round, adding to our confidence and determination to continue to build and deliver best-in-class services and products to users globally.
Q. What are your thoughts on the current crypto market trends?
This bull market from last year has brought us an influx of talents and traditional investor capital into crypto. With each cycle, the market grows exponentially and has now become an asset class not to be ignored. DeFi summer followed up NFT hype has brought blockchain-based financial and social applications to more and more people, and we certainly won’t stop here.
Q. Please share your thoughts on the future of Blockchain technology and Fintech evolution.
Blockchain or Web 3.0 is simply superior-tech and will revolutionize nearly all aspects of our lives. Blockchain removes rent-seeking middlemen and simplifies layers of centralized processes, sending dollars stablecoin via the Ethereum network, for example, only takes minutes versus a traditional cross-border wire via Swift will take days and costing multiples and fees. And remember, digital assets or cryptocurrencies as a new asset class is just the tip of what’s to come. We will soon see completely new ways of interactions in social and cultural settings. Crypto securities or security tokens, and crypto art or non-fungible tokens have already emerged and are growing rapidly. Internet-enabled access and blockchain will further democratize access and monetization.
Q. Do you have anything specific to share about your projects?
We are soon launching a brand new product. Our new product will empower you with the tools to build and grow your digital wealth and accompany you on that personal journey for decades to come. You can save with much better interest rates while maintaining flexibility with spending and financial planning. Invest in a variety of attractive digital assets, with automated strategies and powerful analytics tools. Spend with ease; spend with a credit card, QR code, and direct payments; spend while you earn. Engage in social responsibilities (such as protecting the environment) while enjoying financial returns. Enjoy handling personal finance and investing; have fun building your digital wealth.
Q. How does it feel to be a part of the Dubai Blockchain ecosystem by taking part in the 19th Edition of the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai on Oct 13-14?
I am very glad to be participating and looking forward to meeting all industry players globally. It will also be my first time in Dubai so can’t wait to explore and learn more about the local market.