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Amber Group could sell its subsidiary in Japan to focus more on institutional rather than retail businesses.
Leading global digital asset platform Amber Group is considering a possible sale of its Japan subsidiary amid other plans. The exchange liquidity provider and validator also seeks to apply for a license in Hong Kong. Amber Group’s Hong Kong agenda comes in light of the Chinese special administrative city’s pivot toward becoming a digital asset hub.
Presently, evaluating the Amber Group Japan subsidiary and its operations is part of an overarching strategic decision. According to Amber Managing Partner Annabelle Huang, the digital asset trading leader wants to focus more on institutional than a retail business. In Huang’s own words, although Japan offers a “very high-quality market,” regulations “are strict.” Furthermore, despite talks about a potential Japanese unit sale, Amber’s Managing Partner said the firm has yet to announce.
Potential Amber Japan Subsidiary Sale Comes Over a Year after Firm Acquired Local Exchange DeCurret
Amber acquired Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret Inc in February last year, marking its entry into Japan. The acquisition capitalized the synergies between both platforms, combining Amber’s user-first digital asset investing tools with DeCurret’s crypto exchange offerings. The Japanese-based exchange also boasts extensive in-market reach that Amber can leverage to unlock the country’s digital asset market potential.
Weighing in on the acquisition at the time, Michael Wu, Amber Group’s Global Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Japan holds tremendous strategic value as a significant crypto finance market, and we are proud to be integrating the best of both WhaleFin and DeCurret as we expand our presence in the country.”
Furthermore, Wu also extolled DeCurret as having the required expertise and track record in “democratizing crypto finance for everyone.” Additionally, the Amber Global CEO pointed out that “this acquisition lays the foundation for us to continue building user confidence in crypto assets through ease and accessibility, marking a new chapter for crypto finance in Japan.”
DeCurret President and Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiro Tokita also enthused about the Amber deal at the time, saying:
“We are very pleased to have Amber Group, one of the fastest-growing global crypto asset companies, take over the DeCurret initiative. We sincerely wish them success in the Japanese market and the continued growth of the Amber Group.”
Amber’s 2022 inroads into Japan came as the East Asian country eased some crypto rules to foster growth and development. However, despite Japan’s increased acceptance of digital assets, other crypto-minded companies like Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) and Kraken have pulled back.
Amber Hong Kong License Development
Given the city’s push for more crypto-enabled opportunities, Amber seeks to apply for a Hong Kong virtual asset trading platform license. Huang described the Hong Kong regulatory scene as “very bullish for us,” adding that Amber is sorting out plans for “our license application.”
In 2022, Amber Group embarked on several changes to minimize costs and boost profitability. Actions taken include laying off staff and discontinuing its retail customer operations. In addition, Amber also severed a sponsorship deal with English Premier League giants Chelsea FC at the height of the crypto slump.