By Oliver Smith on Monday 25 April 2022
A virtual land grab, joining HSBC and JP Morgan in the race.
UK investment bank Standard Chartered has acquired a plot of virtual land in the Metaverse.
The ‘land’ is hosted in The Sandbox, a gaming Metaverse where brands like Warner Music, Atari and Gemini have all picked up plots.
Standard Chartered says this digital real estate—which is part of The Sandbox’s Mega City district, a culture hub inspired by Hong Kong—will be used to create “innovative experiences for our clients and the community”.
“Our involvement in the metaverse allows us to reimagine our relationship with existing and potential clients on this new platform and our approach to enhance client journeys,” said Mary Huen, CEO of Standard Chartered.
“Having acquired virtual land in Mega City, a natural choice for the Bank given its distinctive Hong Kong theme, perfectly fits with our promise of strengthening our continued presence in Hong Kong, whether physical or virtual.”
Standard Chartered becomes the latest bank to show interest in the Metaverse, following HSBC, which also struck a deal with The Sandbox in March.
Meanwhile, in the US, JP Morgan Chase bought land in Decentraland and opened an Onyx Lounge, which even boasts a virtual prowling tiger.
While banks and big brands are rushing into the metaverse, it’s not yet clear whether consumers will join with quite the same eagerness.
Analysts at Citibank have predicted that the metaverse could be worth $13 trillion by 2030, while Mark Zuckerberg has bet the future of his company on the technology, renaming it to Meta.