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The crypto market is still far from its golden age, says Michael Wu

The crypto market is still far from its golden age, says Michael Wu

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COINTELEGRAPH | 2021/01/20

The crypto market is still far from its golden age, says Michael Wu

The total cryptocurrency market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion for the first time ever a week ago. However, Michael Wu, CEO of Amber Group, commented at Cointelegraph China’s Jan. 14 Hub interview that the crypto market is still far from reaching its golden age. 

Although Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets have appreciated significantly since last year, Wu believes that the road leading to the golden age of cryptocurrency has just begun. A lot of work, however, still needs to be done. He explained: 

“There are still many better technologies, products and services in the whole crypto finance industry waiting for financial technology enterprises like Amber Group to build, including crypto investors education and promotional programs about the whole industry. There is still a lot of work to do. Therefore, I think the crypto market is far from the golden age. This golden age should still be in the future.”

Wu also believes that since the golden age is still in the future, now would be a great time for everyone to get into the crypto market. He added: 

“Whether it is for investors, new users or entrepreneurs like us who have been working in this industry for a long time, I think now is an excellent time. When the real golden age of crypto finance finance comes, we and our users have already occupied the golden center of the golden age ahead of time.”

Users’ attitude is changing, and education is still the key 

Annabelle Huang, a partner at Amber Group; Jeffrey Wang, head of Americas; and Sungha Ahn, the company’s regional director for South Korea, also gave their opinions on where this booming market is heading. 

According to Huang, with the maturity of the crypto financial infrastructure and the soaring price of Bitcoin, users’ attitude and understanding of cryptocurrency is changing. 

Huang said 2020 was a year for institutions to enter the market. Institutions were leading the whole crypto market to a hotspot, especially when legends such as Paul Tudor Jones endorsed Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. With the continuous improvement of the crypto field, users will have more compliance channels to participate. She continued: 

“Compared with the bull market in 2017, today’s market is healthier and less speculative, which is a good start. However, in terms of user education, there is still a long way to go.”

Huang believes the crypto industry is at a very early stage. For new users, it is very difficult to understand what is Bitcoin, what is blockchain, and how to transfer money. She said that Amber Group hopes to lead the whole industry in user education so there will be more and more people participating in the near future. 

The tipping point of cryptocurrency

Wang thinks cryptocurrency crossed the threshold as a legitimate investment asset class in 2020. Momentum has been building for mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and the macro events of 2020 also accelerated that trend. He explained: 

“With interest rates near zero across global central banks, the cheap money has led to a very positive risk backdrop across the board and investors looking for returns and areas where they can keep money.”

He said Bitcoin has now reached a point where large institutional investors can no longer ignore it. So, in the future, they will have to adopt a strategy one way or another that isn't just discounting it as something fringe. He added:

“For those institutions and funds that choose not to buy and hold cryptocurrencies themselves, I think there will be more options like new ETFs on listed stock exchanges (probably more similar to Grayscale) where they can invest in crypto but in a more traditional way. In addition to ETFs, I think the options market will also expand materially in 2021, which would give people another avenue to invest and express their views."

Regulation will eventually come 

As South Korea has announced a 20% tax on crypto trading, Ahn, the head of South Korea in Amber Group revealed that most Korean blockchain and cryptocurrency investors actually welcome the regulation. He added:

“Taxing income from cryptocurrency is in line with the tax principle, which means that it will be brought into the crypto as an institutional system and matured. As a result of the regulation, Korean people’s perception of “Bitcoin has been one of major assets” has changed positively recently.”

Ahn also believes other countries around the globe will follow suit. He says the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan have recently begun to list cryptocurrency income as capital income and will start to tax it. In particular, countries like the U.K. and South Korea will soon impose inheritance taxes on cryptocurrencies. 

However, he also emphasized that because cryptocurrencies are always changing rapidly, the taxation method may be modified frequently. In particular, for stable cryptocurrencies, commonly known as stablecoins, whose prices are linked to legal fiat currency or real assets, whether they should be taxed as cryptocurrency or equivalent to foreign exchange and securities has not yet been decided internationally. 

In addition, the U.S. government recently allowed commercial banks to provide cryptocurrency services to customers. As a result of this regulation, the decentralized financial sector is expected to usher in explosive growth, according to Ahn. He predicts:

“Therefore, I also think these regulations will lead to more institutional investors and public participation. In short, what I want to say is that in the future, the investment return of cryptocurrency will be better than any other investment product.”

Amber Group is one of the world’s leading crypto finance service providers, operating 24/7 with a presence in Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Vancouver. By the end of 2020, Amber Group has cumulatively traded over $250 billion, with an average monthly trading volume around $100 billion throughout 2020. 

Amber Group is continuously expanding its services to offer clients greater accessibility to a wide range of crypto finance products. Amber’s suite of offerings includes:

  • Amber Website (www.ambergroup.io), a crypto website for users to learn about crypto.

  • Amber App, a consumer-friendly mobile application designed to help users to easily access crypto finance tools.

  • Amber Pro (pro.ambergroup.io), a web-end platform enabling sophisticated crypto users to access advanced crypto trading and investment features.

  • 24/7 dedicated trading support for tailored execution services.

Since the launch in late September 2020 and by the end of 2020, Amber App has:

  • Gained over 25,000 registered users (280% MoM increase); 15,000 registered in December alone. 

  • Grew to $200M in assets under management, with an average 30% MoM growth.

  • Saw $600M+ in trading volumes.

  • Reached $680M in cumulative user deposits.

Looking ahead to 2021, the Amber team has revealed that it will upgrade its product matrix. Huang said: 

“Among them, I am most looking forward to the launch of Amber Card this year. Amber Pro will soon launch collateralized lending and algorithmic execution services supporting more than 2,000 kinds of assets. Amber Pro will interconnect with Amber App and allow users to go back and forth two applications with one account.”

Amber Group said it will further extend its global strategic layout this year, supporting more languages to cover more countries and regions.


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