Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Sony to Resume Operations of Acquired Japanese Crypto Firm ‘WhaleFin’

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Japanese tech giant Sony is gearing up to run a crypto exchange business through WhaleFin, which it acquired in 2023. With this, Sony will have found itself testing rougher waters in the Web3 domain, that is not only laden with financial risks but also with regulatory scrutiny around the world. Sony plans to restart the exchange by launching a new app, dedicated to crypto exchange and trading services. It remains unclear if WhaleFin will continue to be the name of this exchange or if Sony will change it to mark its new beginning.

About Sony’s history and future with WhaleFin

In December 2021, Amber Group announced the launch of WhaleFin as its flagship digital asset platform. In August 2023, Sony’s Quetta Web unit purchased Amber Japan, which at the time was the parent company of Whalefin. On Monday, July 1, Amber Japan made an official announcement about being rebranded to S.Blox. Alongside the announcement, S.Blox also disclosed that the WhaleFin crypto exchange is gearing up to start operations once again.

“WhaleFin is scheduled to be renewed in the future. In addition to redesigning the UI screen, the renewal of WhaleFin will include the release of a new app to provide an easier-to-use service. After the renewal, we also plan to further expand the supported currencies and functions,” the announcement noted.

With this, the Sony Group is looking to enhance its product and service offerings by integrating crypto-centric features. For now, neither Sony nor S.Blox have disclosed the exact timeline by which the WhaleFin crypto exchange will restart its operations.

Sony’s engagement with Web3 so far

Sony, which is a popular name in the tech industry, is now looking to dig deeper into the Web3 arena. Back in 2022, Sony Music Entertainment said it was exploring avenues to bring artists as well as music together with the NFT industry. At the time, Sony had filed a trademark application for the Columbia Records logo, intending to use it around NFT-backed media. The same year, Sony filed to obtain a patent for tracking digital collectibles within its gaming ecosystem, through NFTs.

In 2023, Sony Network Communications teamed up with smart contract platform, the Astar Network aiming to explore how blockchain could solve issues persistent in the gaming, entertainment, music, and imaging industries.

Recently, Sony said it is planning to let gamers assemble all of their digital collectibles and create what’s called a Super Fungible Token – trying to carve a new niche within the NFT sector.

Back in 2023, Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan called Web3 ‘the next form of capitalism’ and expressed his enthusiasm about Japan foraying into the digital assets sector. Since then, crypto firms like Binance and Mercari have taken pro-crypto steps to thrive in the country.


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