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HSBC will enter the metaverse by buying land in Sandbox

While the metaverse is expected to represent a trillion-dollar market opportunity in the coming years, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC said it would partner with the Sandbox platform, thereby entering the metaverse. HSBC will buy a digital plot of land in the virtual world and use it for sports, esports and games. No other details have yet been provided.

Notably, virtual worlds in the metaverse have their population, gross domestic product, and currencies.

The Sandbox is a decentralized gaming virtual world, where players can create, own, and monetize their gaming experiences on the Ethereum blockchain.

Suresh Balaji, HSBC Asia Pacific Marketing Director, said: “The Metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet, using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. At HSBC, we see great potential for creating new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve.

Balaji added, “Through our partnership with The Sandbox, we are making our foray into the metaverse, enabling us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers. We are excited to work with our sports partners, brand ambassadors and Animoca brands to co-create educational, inclusive and accessible experiences.

HSBC’s decision comes almost a month after JP Morgan JPM announced the opening of a virtual lounge named “Onyx lounge” at Decentraland.

Christine Moy, Head of Cryptocurrency and Metaverse at JPMorgan, said, “There is a lot of customer interest in learning more about the Metaverse. We’ve built our white paper to help customers cut through the noise and highlight the current reality and what needs to be built next in technology, business infrastructure, privacy/identity and workforce. work, to maximize the full potential of our lives. in the metaverse.

Like Sandbox, Decentraland is a virtual world based on blockchain technology.

The difference between the two is that Sandbox focuses more on gaming, while Decentraland focuses on experiences and socializing. Additionally, while Decentraland is already up and running, the Sandbox is still in beta testing, although it’s open to everyone.

So far, JPM and HSBC are the only two banks to have announced their entry into the Metaverse.

The Digital Asset Space and Growing Competition

Until July 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency did not allow banks in the United States to hold cryptocurrencies. The post-July amendment gave banks the green light to start exploring cryptocurrency operations.

A few years ago, banks were not very interested in the crypto and digital asset space. But now, after witnessing an increase in demand for the emerging market, banks and financial institutions are embracing cryptocurrencies.

In July 2021, JPM became the first major bank in the United States to enable its financial advisors to give all of its wealth management clients access to cryptocurrency funds.

In an effort to strengthen and improve its presence in the digital asset space, Citigroup C announced in November 2021 that it would hire 100 additional people in its blockchain and digital assets division.

Citigroup, which has been considering entering the crypto space for a long time, has started offering digital asset services to its wealthy clients with the launch of the trading subsidiary – Digital Assets Group. The division, which is part of Citigroup’s wealth management division, focuses on cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.

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