HSBC buys virtual real estate in the metaverse

Leading international bank HSBC has purchased virtual land in The Sandbox metaverse, joining more than 200 companies that have taken up virtual real estate.

The groundbreaking partnership between The Sandbox and HSBC will see the financial services provider acquire land and virtual real estate, which will be developed to engage and connect with sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts.

The partnership opens the door for other institutions to continue innovating in Web3 as more people get involved in the metaverse and virtual worlds.

Metaverse virtual worlds offer interactive and immersive experiences to users, with many of the platforms built on blockchain technology. 

According to PwC, the metaverse market is estimated to grow from $45.4 billion in 2019 to $1.5 trillion in 2030.

Chief Marketing Officer, Asia-Pacific, HSBC, Suresh Balaji said the partnership would help enhance the experiences of the people they serve.

“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,” Mr Balaji said.

“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 joins more than 200 existing partnerships with The Sandbox including Gucci, Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties.

The Sandbox Co-founder Sebastien Borget said it was exciting to see the landscape continuing to grow.

“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,” Mr Borget said.

“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.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.