International banking giant HSBC and virtual gaming platform The Sandbox have announced a partnership. The collaboration comes a month after JPMorgan launched its first metaverse lounge on Decentraland.
“While we think the metaverse itself remains more conceptual than fait accompli at this stage, it is clear that neither investors nor companies are waiting on the sidelines,” Jon Gordon and Sundeep Gantori, strategists at UBS, told Euromoney.
Metaverse tapping the gaming community
HSBC is set to acquire virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse with the aim of connecting with gaming and sports enthusiasts.
The bank said: “The agreement opens the door for other global institutions to continue innovating in Web3 as consumer adoption demands more robust experiences in the metaverse through decentralized and gamified offerings.”
With the metaverse expected to become a trillion-dollar opportunity this year, Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC, 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.”
The space has gained major traction since the start of the year. DappRadar noted that “virtual land is a booming business”, and added, “A piece of NFT land in a virtual world is a hot commodity at the moment, as investors and opportunists want a piece of the metaverse.”
Virtual land becomes a booming business
Late last year, Animoca Brands subsidiary The Sandbox announced a partnership with PwC Hong Kong.
Like HSBC, the accounting firm had acquired a LAND site in their metaverse.
“We are pleased to see large, trusted institutions such as HSBC join The Sandbox open metaverse, and embrace the culture of Web3. We believe this is the beginning of broader adoption of Web3 and the metaverse by institutions driving brand experiences and engagement within this new ecosystem,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox.
Names like Gucci, Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, and Adidas have already staked their claim on the Sandbox metaverse.
William Gee, Partner at PwC Hong Kong, said: “The Metaverse offers new possibilities for organizations to create value through innovative business models, as well as introducing new ways to engage with their customers and communities.”