Business

HSBC Reviews Metaverse, Buys Virtual Plots


HSBC bought a piece of virtual land digitally

HSBC bought a piece of virtual property in an online gaming space called The Sandbox for an undisclosed amount, the bank’s first foray into the metaverse when it downsized its UK branch network.

The digital boost will allow HSBC to interact with sports, e-sports and gaming fans through a piece of its lawn at The Sandbox, a virtual space majority owned by Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands.

Its foray into the virtual world comes as a Britain -based lender reduces its footprint in the real world, announcing on Tuesday it will cut 69 more branches in Britain as its customers move online.

HSBC is the second global bank to invest in the popular metaverse platform after JPMorgan last month established a presence in blockchain -based Decentraland.

The U.S. Bank opened a lounge in the virtual mall, featuring a digital portrait of Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, after in early February published a report on “opportunities in the metaverse”.

About $ 54 billion is spent annually on virtual goods, the U.S. bank said in its report, double the amount spent on buying music. Assets such as land can often be purchased in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFT).

Users in metaverse environments like The Animoca Sandbox can buy land, walk around as an avatar, play games and meet friends.

Facebook recently changed its name to “Meta” to signify its commitment to the metaverse concept.

HSBC said it hopes to “create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers,” in the virtual world.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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