Through cooperation with The Sandbox, the British multinational banking behemoth is entering the metaverse.
HSBC, one of the world’s major banks and financial services firms, has acquired a plot of metaverse real estate in The Sandbox to interact and connect with sports, esports, and gaming aficionados.
The British banking giant revealed Wednesday that it has purchased virtual real estate in The Sandbox, one of the major Metaverse games in the crypto world, in order to connect and interact with a global audience of sports, esports, and gaming aficionados. Suresh Balaji, HSBC’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that the bank is making the drive to offer unique brand experiences. “The Metaverse is how Web3, the next iteration of the Internet, will be experienced,” he said. “Through our relationship with The Sandbox, we’re entering the Metaverse, enabling us to develop novel brand experiences for both new and current consumers.”
While the British bank is the first global financial institution to own property in The Sandbox, it is far from the first large bank to shift its focus to blockchain-based virtual worlds. JPMorgan created a virtual lounge in Decentraland, another popular Metaverse game powered by the Ethereum blockchain, earlier this month.
HSBC’s entry into the Metaverse may come as a surprise, considering the bank’s long history of opposition against cryptocurrencies. HSBC CEO Noel Quin had said to Reuters in May that the bank was “not into Bitcoin as an asset class” and had no intentions to market it to its clients via its wealth management division. In 2021, it refused to handle cryptocurrency payments, prevented customers from depositing their Bitcoin gains, and prohibited customers from acquiring Microstrategy shares, the biggest corporate holder of Bitcoin, referring to the commodity as a “virtual currency product.” Additionally, HSBC suspended credit card payments to Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, citing “potential client dangers.”