Amber Group plans to acquire Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret

DeCurret is apparently planning to sell its crypto business to Hong Kong-based investing platform Amber Group.
DeCurret is apparently planning to sell its crypto business to Hong Kong-based investing platform Amber Group.

DeCurret, a Japan-based company that offers digital asset trading and exchanges, is apparently planning to sell its crypto business to investing platform Amber Group.

According to a story published in the Nikkei newspaper on Wednesday, DeCurret Holdings plans to sell its crypto division to the Hong Kong-based Amber Group in February this year. Despite the fact that the acquisition’s specifics are unknown, the news site indicated that the transaction price would be in the millions.

Why does DeCurret want to sell its exchange division?

In December 2021, DeCurret reorganized its operations, forming DeCurret Holdings as a holding company and dividing its digital currency and crypto businesses into independent subsidiaries. DeCurret Inc. will represent the company’s crypto exchange operation, while DeCurret DCP will manage the digital currency biz, according to the proposed agreement.

The company was first launched in 2019 and later got regulatory clearance from the Financial Services Agency (FSA), proposing that cryptocurrency be used as a payment mechanism for Japan’s public transportation system. The crypto exchange, however, was unable to compete with major competitors like BitFlyer and Coincheck, according to the Nikkei report, and “profits were tapering.”

Japan has recently been highly active in the crypto industry and said that it would follow the U.S. for stricter stablecoin regulations.

If the deal goes through, it will be another case of a China-based — in this case, Hong Kong — company buying one of Japan’s few authorized crypto exchanges. Huobi Global’s Japanese subsidiary bought a majority position in BitTrade in 2018, one of the country’s only sixteen regulated exchanges at the time. In Japan, there were 30 FSA-approved crypto exchange operations as of the end of 2021.

The Amber Group, based in Hong Kong, was valued at $1 billion in June 2021 after a $100 million funding round. Since then, the crypto financial services firm has funded initiatives like 1inch Network and created its own NFT studio, Creator Finance.

DeCurret is apparently planning to focus on digital currencies following the sale of its crypto unit. Digital currencies are recognized as separate from cryptocurrency by Japanese regulators, notably the country’s Financial Services Agency, or FSA.