Amber Group, the crypto unicorn, is slashing expenses and positions across the board, halving its overall employee headcount in Hong Kong to 40 by cutting support functions such as IT, risk management, audit, and compliance, as the company scrambles to survive a cryptocurrency market catastrophe.
- According to the SCMP, Amber Group has significantly reduced its compliance workforce in Hong Kong, going from 20 to only five people, and also made its entire auditing team redundant.
- The company, Amber Group, has delayed payments to several of its third-party contractors by up to six months, according to an anonymous source cited in the SCMP article. The source added that they are not authorized to speak to the media.
- Amber Group, a company that started in Hong Kong in 2017 and later moved its head office to Singapore, stated on January 13th that it currently has 100 employees in Hong Kong, and that it is taking a cautious approach.
- Amber, whose inventors include Sequoia Capital China and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, had moved its local offices from Hong Kong’s central business district to lower priced facilities in Causeway Bay to reduce costs, according to the report.
- Amber shut its crypto exchange WhaleFin in December, and canceled the exchange’s £20 million ($25 million) a year advertising deal with the English Premier League soccer team Chelsea FC for the 2022-23 season, according to an earlier Bloomberg report.
- Amber became a unicorn, a privately-owned startup with a valuation of over US$1 billion, in June 2021 after closing a US$100 million Series B fundraising round and stating plans to go public within a few years.
- Following the failure of the Bahamas-based FTX cryptocurrency exchange in November, the BlockFi Inc. exchange declared bankruptcy, and around the same time Hong Kong-based exchange AAX shut down customer services with reports it is unlikely to open again.
- Last week, the largest U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc., cut its remaining workforce by a further 20%.
- The total crypto market capitalization has slumped 56% from a year ago to US$966 billion.