Crypto and the Metaverse are decentralized without the need for a central authority, and banks are generally considered public enemy number one when it comes to crypto.
As the reach of Crypto and Web3 widens, however, the lure of the metaverse is becoming attractive to banks. And since regulation has been opening up around the world, we have seen some banks dip their toes into the space.
The metaverse is gaining traction with developers and gamers, but banking institutions also want a piece of the action.
HSBC made its entrance into The Sandbox Metaverse by acquiring some LAND, a significant event for Web3. As one of the largest financial institutions globally, HSBC’s move certainly benefits Web3, but of course, they see the potential it has for themselves.
Speaking of the move into the Web3 space, former HSBC CMO Suresh Balaji said the institution sees ‘great potential to create new experiences’ and ‘open up a world of opportunities’ for their customers.
J.P. Morgan isn’t letting its rivals gain the advantage, as the American banking giant has planted its flag in Decentraland, a rival of The Sandbox’s metaverse. They have created a virtual lounge inside one of the malls there.
The Lounge is the perfect place to learn all about the Metaverse and stay abreast of J.P. Morgan’s upcoming projects. By exploring its educational resources, users will be able to keep on top of what’s happening in this dynamic space.
With mega banks buying virtual land and taking a social approach to these projects, it’s sure to be an exciting development for anyone who enjoys interacting virtually.
Banks Aren’t New to Investing in Crypto Space
While many believe banks wouldn’t touch the metaverse and anything crypto with a bargepole, nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, some of the world’s biggest banks have invested heavily in blockchain-related firms. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Citigroup are some of the investors actively investing in larger rounds.
In particular, Morgan Stanley has invested $1.1 billion and Goldman Sachs $698 million over 5 rounds, while BNY Mellon has committed to funding with a total sum of $690 million.
And while banks cannot hold Bitcoin or any other crypto on their balance sheets yet, custody solutions and tech providers are the blockchain firms attracting the top banking institutions. NYDIG raised a whopping $1B, while Fireblocks brought in $550M. Furthermore, Gemini earned $400M, and Anchorage Digital closed an impressive fundraising round at $350M.
When banks want a piece of the action you know you have something appealing. For many years, banks didn’t only stay away from crypto, but they wouldn’t even consider a new client whose business was blockchain-related.
And while regulations are still vague, there is more clarity than ever before. Banks cannot yet custody or even hold crypto on their balance sheet, but they have been investing in blockchain firms that do.
And now they’re investing in property in two of the metaverse’s biggest virtual worlds. And this is only the beginning.