HSBC is offering a metaverse investment fund for its affluent clients in Hong Kong and Singapore. The banking giant plans to primarily focus the fund on interface, computing, virtualization, experience and infrastructure.
“The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving,” HBSC Asia Pacific’s regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions, Lina Lim, told Reuters. “We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem.”
Banking in the Metaverse
Last month, HSBC announced its plan to purchase virtual land in The Sandbox, a popular metaverse. In fact, The Sandbox COO, Sebastien Borget, is considered a metaverse pioneer. With this purchase, HSBC becomes one of the first banks to own land in the metaverse. JP Morgan Chase receives the honor of being the first bank to hold land in the metaverse after opening the Onyx lounge in Decentraland. It’s no surprise that so many banks are joining the metaverse considering experts estimate the industry will be worth $13 trillion by 2030.
While not virtual landowners, American Express and Zelf have also made their metaverse banking intentions known. Zelf is currently creating an embedded banking system that will allow for transferring cryptocurrencies into actual bank accounts. Likewise, American Express has filed patents revolving around its metaverse goals with the U.S. patent office.
“The metaverse is seen by many as the next stage in the evolution of the internet, with the effect it has on our daily lives expected to be as impactful as we saw in the early nineties,” said Nicholas Dowell, portfolio manager at HSBC London.
On the other side of the coin (pun intended) – HSBC has made its skepticism of cryptocurrencies clear in the past. Noel Quinn, the company’s CEO, has stated that HSBC has no interest in offering any crypto-related services in 2021.