HSBC Makes Metaverse Debut by Acquiring Virtual Land in The Sandbox

HSBC, the British international banking titan has partnered with The Sandbox to make its entry into the metaverse. 

In order to interact and engage with sports, esports, and gaming fans, HSBC, the prominent global banking and financial services company has acquired a virtual parcel of land in the Metaverse of The Sandbox

The virtual world is becoming an important space to expand operational presence, and even the most skeptical are showing a change of tune. HSBC issued a press release on March 16th, announcing the partnership with The Sandbox, and the subsequent acquisition of virtual real-estate in its metaverse for the purpose of interacting and connecting with fans of gaming, sports, and esports. 

Suresh Balaji, HSBC’s Chief Marketing Officer, said that offering new brand experiences is the primary reason for the decision to expand in the metaverse. 

“The Metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the Internet,” said Suresh Balaji, further emphasizing that “through our partnership with The Sandbox, we are making our foray into the Metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers.”

Even though HSBC is the first company of its kind to acquire virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse, there have been other banks that have shifted their focus onto the virtual worlds established on the blockchain. In February, JPMorgan entered the metaverse built on the Ethereum blockchain by opening a virtual lounge in Decentraland. 

Considering the bank’s long history of opposition towards cryptocurrencies, the entry of HSBC into the Metaverse is not exactly expected. Noel Quin, the CEO of HSBC spoke for Reuters in May 2021, saying that HSBC does not agree with Bitcoin (BTC) being an asset class but rather a virtual currency product and thus the bank had no intentions of advising their clients on the matter.

The bank did not process crypto transactions and did not let customers bank gains from Bitcoin (BTC). Moreover, clients were prohibited from buying the stock of MicroStrategy, the biggest corporate holder of the biggest cryptocurrency. 

Furthermore, HSBC has restricted credit card payments to Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platform, stressing potential client concerns.