Just-In: Global Bank HSBC Enters ‘Metaverse’ Through Sandbox

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HSBC entered a partnership with The Sandbox metaverse on Wednesday, which will see the bank set up a virtual stadium in the Sandbox, and engage with the community.

The tie-up was announced by The Sandbox in a blog post, and no financial details of the agreement were released. The partnership sees HSBC join the likes of Gucci, Warner Music and Ubisoft in setting up virtual spaces in Sandbox.

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.

Suresh Balaji, Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC

HSBC no stranger to Web3

HSBC’s foray into the metaverse comes at the heels of growing blockchain adoption in the bank. While it still maintains a strict anti-crypto stance, it has been more open to investing in, and even adopting blockchain technology.

In December, the bank set up a blockchain-based product to facilitate foreign exchange transactions, amid growing interest among major international banks to adopt ledger technology. HSBC said that ledger technology would allow it to streamline payments.

The bank is a backer of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Chief Executive Noel Quinn had last year highlighted the potential of CBDCs in allowing for cheaper and easier payments, which could facilitate economic growth.

If stablecoins and cryptocurrencies are to become relied upon in the same way, they will also require regulation that is commensurate with the risks they create.

-Quinn wrote in a blog post in September.

The British bank was also among the investors in a $200 million funding round for blockchain technology firm ConsenSys in November.

Metaverse sees growing corporate interest

A crypto boom through 2021 also saw increasing interest in blockchains and the metaverse, which invited interest from several large financial institutions.

Wall Street bank JPMorgan recently set up a lounge in Decentraland, while Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand’s largest lender, also has an outlet in Sandbox.

Financial advisor PWC sees the virtual reality industry valued at a whopping $1.5 trillion by 2030.

With more than five years of experience covering global financial markets, Ambar intends to leverage this knowledge towards the rapidly expanding world of crypto and DeFi. His interest lies chiefly in finding how geopolitical developments can impact crypto markets, and what that could mean for your bitcoin holdings. When he isn't trawling through the web for the latest breaking news, you can find him playing videogames or watching Seinfeld reruns. You can reach him at [email protected]
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.

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