Sony to Unleash Killer Web3 Uses in New Blockchain Venture

  • Sony has partnered with Startale Labs to develop a new Web3 blockchain.
  • The new blockchain has ambitions to become the Web3 global standard.
  • Sony has diverse business interests, enabling a wide scope of potential applications.

The path to mass adoption of new technology is often a gradual one. Early innovators blaze the trail, but it’s not until major players join the race that momentum kicks in. In the case of blockchain, once cautious corporations see the viability demonstrated by others, the snowball effect often takes over.

Sony is the latest major player to overcome its trepidation. The tech giant has partnered with developers Startale Labs, a spinoff from Polkadot-based Astar Network, to develop a new blockchain platform, with ambitions to ”become the backbone of global Web3 infrastructure.”

Sony X Startale Labs

In recognition of the advancing case for blockchain technology, Sony reported that its joint venture with Startale Labs will be formalized by incorporating a new company called Sony Network Communications Labs Pte. Ltd. 

Though Startale Labs CEO Sota Watanabe was quizzed on the benefits of the partnership for Astar Network and Polkadot token holders, he could not share specific details of the plans afoot due to non-disclosure agreements between the two firms.

On the other hand, Watanabe was quick to express that the joint venture has the potential to be a game changer for Web3 adoption, in that the partnership will focus on adding value to Sony Group’s expansive network of business interests that includes gaming, music, and films, as well as “entertainment technology and services, imaging and sensing solutions, and financial services” to create “killer Web3 use cases”.

Further emphasizing the significance of Sony’s venture into Web3, Watanabe highlighted the recent success of Coinbase’s Base Chain, stating that Sony’s brand recognition and cross-industry influence could achieve even wider adoption and mainstream appeal. 

“Can you imagine what happens if Sony, [a] 6 times bigger company than Coinbase, launches their platform with Web3 Ways?” Watanabe enthused. 

At press time, Astar Network is ranked 96th by market cap, per CoinMarketCap, making the Polkadot Parachain somewhat of a little-known niche offering. Despite that, in its native Japan, Astar Network is a popular chain.

Astar Network 

Astar Network is among the most used blockchains in Japan, with data from Statista showing the ASTR token was the fourth most traded token in the country in May 2023. By contrast, Coinbase does not support Astar Network, which hints at a lack of interest in the US.

Crypto trading volume by tokens in Japan as of May 2023 by Statista

Startale Labs is a web3 development offshoot of Astar Network, founded in 2023. It aims to be the “missing piece” to enabling mass adoption of Web3 technology. The company has emphasized its multi-chain approach, leaving the door open to Sony’s blockchain being entirely distinct from Polkadot.

On the Flipside

  • Sony has previously tried and failed in various tech ventures, such as MiniDisc and Betamax.
  • Conglomerates don’t have the agility of small up-and-coming startups, potentially making the new venture a long and drawn-out affair. 

Why This Matters

Sony’s Web3 venture signals a vote of confidence in blockchain technology from a globally recognized brand. This bodes well for encouraging more companies to explore the tech, thus fulfilling expectations of a coming snowball effect for mass adoption.

Learn more about Sony’s exploration of NFT and gaming applications here:
Sony NFT Patent Confirms Blockchain Interest for PlayStation

Read more about the fallout from the Fortress Trust security breach here:
Swan Bitcoin on the Defensive Following Fortress Hack

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