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  • Xavier Cullen

Banking on the metaverse: the digital future is getting funding from major banks

HSBC generated nearly 20 billion USD in 2021, and it's investing in the metaverse. (Photo by HSBC)

Technological innovation only goes as far as financial investments take it. Luckily for the metaverse, several investment banks are putting millions of dollars into the future of commerce.

So far in 2022, there has been a massive influx of investments in the metaverse, and even the biggest banks are looking to catch the wave.

On March 16, 2022, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), one of the largest banks in the world, announced it is partnering with The Sandbox metaverse to buy virtual land on the blockchain.

The Sandbox stated in a Medium post that its metaverse world “will be developed to engage and connect with sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts.” The company’s metaverse world offers gamers the chance to build their own experiences, such as role-playing, adventure, and open-world games.

This followed a report by American investment bank JPMorgan that predicted the metaverse has a market opportunity of over 1 trillion USD annually and could “infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years.”

The bank said in the report that the metaverse has a lot to give gamers, and the risks for investing in the decentralized gaming industry are relatively low. It said that the minimal risks are “worth the incremental investment needed to get started and to explore this new digital landscape for yourself.”

HSBC Chief Marketing Officer Suresh Balaji echoed similar optimism in HSBC’s partnership announcement.

“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,” 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.”

American Express, one of the world’s most popular brands according to Forbes, has applied for several trademarks that hint that the bank will allow gamers to use its cards in the metaverse and for other blockchain activities.

If the potential of e-commerce and blockchain buying comes true, these banks will certainly cash in. These are bold bets to place in an emerging industry, but these banks aren’t known to spend frivolously. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so it’s safe to say that these corporations have a reason to invest in blockchain technology.

The metaverse is seen by many industry leaders to be the future of video games. Games such as Roblox and The Sandbox have given proof that this technology works.

But for the metaverse to succeed, it needs powerful support backing it. With major banking companies showing their support by investing hundreds of millions of dollars, there seems to be industry-wide optimism in the metaverse.

GosuRabbit is a marketing agency that specialises in providing entertainment, esports and gaming marketing services for brands, businesses and agencies across the globe.

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