July 1, 2024 at 15:07 GMTModified date: July 1, 2024 at 15:07 GMT
July 1, 2024 at 15:07 GMT

Sony acquires Amber Japan, signalling strong crypto intent

The move is a significant diversification strategy for Sony, which is valued at over $100 billion, and is known globally for its contributions in games, music, and cameras. 

Sony acquires Amber Japan, signalling strong crypto intent

Leading Japanese conglomerate, Sony Group, has made a bold foray into the cryptocurrency exchange market with its Amber Japan acquisition.

This development was first reported by crypto analyst Wu Blockchain and the details were later revealed by the Block. 

Amber Japan, now known as S.BLOX, is a subsidiary of Amber Group specialising in regulated digital asset trading.

The move is a significant diversification strategy for Sony, which is valued at over $100 billion, and is known globally for its contributions in games, music, and cameras. 

The acquisition underscored Sony’s commitment to exploring new avenues in digital assets.

Amber Japan’s strategic rebirth

Amber Japan, originally known as DeCurret, emerged as a key player in Japan’s regulated digital asset trading space after its acquisition by the global Amber Group in early 2022. 

However, the company faced financial challenges following the collapse of FTX, a once-prominent crypto exchange. 

This setback led to a significant restructuring effort, reportedly involving a debt-to-equity transaction with Fenbushi Capital. It was one of Amber Group’s major backers alongside Temasek, Sequoia China, Pantera, Tiger Global, and Coinbase.

The rebranding to DeCurret aimed to solidify its market presence, but subsequent financial turbulence necessitated strategic adjustments. 

Now, under Sony’s ownership, Amber Japan has been rebranded as S.BLOX, signalling a new chapter in its operations. 

According to a statement released by PR Times, S.BLOX plans to revamp its WhaleFin platform with a redesigned user interface and enhanced mobile applications. 

These updates are expected to improve user experience and expand the platform’s functionalities, accommodating a broader range of digital assets.

Sony’s vision and future plans

Sony’s acquisition of Amber Japan aligns with its broader corporate strategy to diversify its business portfolio. 

Beyond traditional entertainment and consumer electronics, Sony has recognised the potential of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in gaming. 

In March 2023, the company filed a patent outlining an “NFT Framework for Transferring and Using Digital Assets Between Games Platforms”, signalling its intent to integrate blockchain innovations across its gaming ecosystem.

The integration of S.BLOX into Sony’s ecosystem is more than just a financial investment. It reflects Sony’s commitment to leveraging its technological expertise and vast resources to innovate within the digital asset sector. 

The collaboration aims to create synergies that enhance cryptocurrency trading services and explore new avenues for growth.

S.BLOX now operates as an affiliate of Sony Group after its acquisition by Quetta Web Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. In a statement, it said,

“By collaborating with various Sony Group businesses, we aim to create new value in cryptocurrency trading services. We look forward to your continued support of WhaleFin.”

S.BLOX has also announced significant plans for the WhaleFin service, including a complete overhaul of its user interface and the release of new applications. 

It released an improved version of WhaleFin on 31 January 2024, with further enhancements planned.

Sony Group’s acquisition of Amber Japan marks a significant milestone in its corporate history. However, its interest in cryptocurrencies extends beyond this recent acquisition. 

The company has been actively exploring Web 3 technologies through investments and partnerships. Notably, Sony collaborated with the Astar Network on a Web3 incubation program. 

It also filed a patent for transferring NFTs across different gaming platforms, demonstrating its strategic alignment with blockchain innovations.

Both Sony Group and Amber Group have declined to comment on the latest acquisition as of press time.