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HSBC enters the metaverse with The Sandbox

HSBC enters the metaverse with The Sandbox

British bank HSBC has announced a partnership with leading metaverse crypto project The Sandbox. The bank will purchase a plot of land in the Sandbox metaverse, which will be used for engaging with enthusiasts from sports, esports, and gaming.

HSBC is one of the largest international banking and financial services providers in the world, and its collaboration with The Sandbox will open up possibilities for offering its global financial services, together with engaging sports communities from across the world.

According to the Sandbox announcement on its Medium blog, other global financial institutions are likely to follow suit, given that the global metaverse market is predicted to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2030.

The chief marketing officer of HSBC Asia-Pacific, Suresh Balaji, said of the partnership:

“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 to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve. Through our partnership with The Sandbox we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers. We’re excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive and accessible.”

HSBC will join a growing group of partnerships that have already set up shop in The Sandbox, choosing it ahead of Decentraland, the other major competitor in the crypto space. Major brands already in The Sandbox include: Gucci, Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties.

Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox said:

“We’re pleased to see large, trusted institutions such as HSBC join The Sandbox open metaverse and embrace the culture of Web3, connecting with users through entertainment, gaming and user-generated content. We believe this is the beginning of a broader adoption of Web3 and the metaverse by institutions driving brand experiences and engagement within this new ecosystem.”

Opinion

It remains to be seen how much interest will be paid to the likes of such financial institutions as banks. It does seem to go against the ideal of decentralisation, which also includes private digital assets. 

However, given that central bank digital currencies are in the works, banks will be forced to innovate, and it seems likely that they will have to embrace cryptocurrencies if, 1. They are allowed to by regulators, and 2. If they are to remain viable businesses.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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