Amber Group acquires Celera Markets to mix TradFi with digital assets in Hong Kong

Rick Steves

By securing five types of SFC licenses – Type 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9 – Amber will be able to carry out a broad range of services including advising on and dealing in securities and futures contracts as well as providing asset management services.

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Digital asset platform Amber Group has acquired Celera Markets Limited in order to conduct relevant regulated activities under the auspices of Type 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9 licenses from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Celera is a discretionary asset management firm fully licensed by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong that engages in traditional securities and derivatives brokerage services.

Convergence of TradFi and digital asset finance

Michael Wu, Chief Executive Officer of Amber Group, commented: “Hong Kong holds tremendous strategic value as a key global finance hub, and we are proud to be integrating the best from traditional and digital finance as we expand our presence in the market. As an asset management player with a decade-long track record, Celera Markets offers valuable market expertise and TradFi experience which is critical to our global mission to facilitate the convergence of TradFi and digital asset finance.

“This acquisition also marks a significant milestone in Amber Group’s commitment to regulatory compliance as we strive to build institutional investors’ trust and confidence in crypto assets. As we continue to hold ourselves to the highest compliance standards and win the trust of an SFC-approved institution, we look forward to welcoming a new era of finance in Hong Kong.”

The goal of Amber Group with the acquisition of Celera Markets is to leverage the inevitable synergies in order to broaden its advisory and deals offering for financial instruments, while adhering to the regulatory parameters set by the SFC.

By securing five types of SFC licenses – Type 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9 – Amber will be able to carry out a broad range of services including advising on and dealing in securities and futures contracts as well as providing asset management services.

Backed by Sequoia, Temasek, Paradigm, Tiger Global, Dragonfly, Pantera, Coinbase Ventures, and Blockchain.com, Amber Group provides a full range of digital asset services spanning investing, financing, and trading, and has offices in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Amber Group entered Japan via DeCurret Inc.

Earlier this year, Amber Group’s subsidiary WhaleFin Japan acquired crypto asset exchange DeCurret Inc. in a move that marks the group’s entry into Japan, having acquired a Crypto-Asset Exchange Service Provider (CAESP) registered with Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA).

DeCurret is one of the 30 registered CAESPs operating in Japan since 2018 and is backed by 35 shareholders including leading Japanese financial institutions and corporations.

Marrying Amber Group’s user-first digital asset investing tools under WhaleFin, and DeCurret’s crypto exchange offering and its extensive in-market reach to unlock Japan’s crypto market potential, the acquisition is expected to catalyze the adoption of digital assets in the country, given the seven-fold growth in crypto deposits in 2021 and Amber’s management of $5 billion worth of digital assets on its platform.

Amber Group will aim to make the most out of the opportunity to operate a registered CAESP as it allows the company and WhaleFin Japan to introduce regulated crypto exchange and custody services.

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