Singaporean crypto unicorn Amber Group is cutting its workforce in Hong Kong, SCMP reports

Singapore-based digital asset manager Amber Group has halved its Hong Kong staff to 40, cutting jobs in risk management, audit and compliance, as it tries to weather falling cryptocurrency prices and a string of industry bankruptcies, according to a report by the South China Morning Post on Wednesday. which quoted a person familiar with the development.

See related article: Amber Group launches CreatorFi NFT initiative to bridge the traditional, crypto worlds

Fast facts

  • The SCMP report said Amber reduced its compliance workforce in Hong Kong to five from 20 people and fired its entire audit team. No mention was made of the Singapore headquarters or the total number of staff in Amber.

  • Payments to many of the company’s third-party suppliers have been delayed, in some cases by up to six months, the report said, citing a person who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

  • The report said Amber, which was founded in 2017 in Hong Kong and later moved its headquarters to Singapore, told SCMP on Jan. 13 that it has 100 employees in Hong Kong and is “preparing for an extremely conservative position.”

  • Amber, which is backed by Sequoia Capital China and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, has moved its local offices from Hong Kong’s central business district to cheaper facilities in Causeway Bay to cut costs, the report said.

  • Amber shut down its crypto exchange WhaleFin in December and canceled the exchange’s £20 million ($25 million) annual advertising deal with English Premier League soccer team Chelsea FC for the 2022-23 season, according to an earlier Bloomberg report.

  • Amber became a unicorn in June 2021, a private startup valued at more than US$1 billion, after closing a US$100 million Series B funding round and announcing plans to go public within a few years.

  • Following the failure of Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November, exchange BlockFi Inc. declared bankruptcy, and around the same time Hong Kong-based exchange AAX shut down customer services with reports that it was unlikely to reopen. On Thursday morning, it was announced that US-based crypto lender Genesis is preparing to file for bankruptcy.

  • Last week, the largest US-based crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. reduced the remaining workforce by an additional 20%.

  • The total capitalization of the crypto market fell 56% compared to last year to 966 billion USD.

See related article: Two people have been arrested in Hong Kong on suspicion of being involved in a digital asset scam on AAX

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