In a rather unexpected turn of events—that could be regarded as rather bullish—it's now emerged that Sony, one of Japan's largest companies, is now the proud owner of a crypto exchange.

The transaction quietly took part last summer, but the details have only just been made public.

Amber Japan, the parent company of WhaleFin, has announced that it was taken over by a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group in August 2023. Ever since, it's been operating as an affiliate of a multinational firm known for everything from televisions and laptops to games consoles and cameras.

An additional statement revealed that WhaleFin is going to be rebranded to S.BLOX—and closer ties with Sony Group are planned in 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.

What's especially exciting about this acquisition is how S.BLOX plans to work "to create newly added value in cryptocurrency trading by collaborating with the group's diverse businesses."

What Does This Mean?

As significant as this announcement is, it's also pretty vague.

Are we going to see Sony follow in Samsung's footsteps by allowing non-fungible tokens to be displayed on TV screens? Will PlayStation become a hub for Web3 gaming? Are digital assets going to be accepted as a payment method on Sony's website and in its stores?

All of that remains uncertain right now. But given Sony has a current market valuation of $108 billion, the company's move into this space is a huge vote of confidence for crypto that could have the potential to influence the country's regulatory stance.

There have been tentative signs that Japan is planning to relax some of its crypto regulations—and it's highly unlikely that Sony would have opted to make this move if they thought the rules were about to tighten further.

As reported by Observers last week, there appears to be an insatiable appetite for digital assets among institutional investors in the country.

Research by Laser Digital, part of the Nomura Group, found 62% regard crypto as a diversification opportunity—and 54% are planning to invest in the next three years.

Sony's deep pockets, name recognition and reputation—coupled with the acquisition of WhaleFin—might mean those numbers are now soft.

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