The metaverse, as a term, lay dormant for decades. Then it erupted into the public consciousness, all while remaining vague and undefined. People discussing it would regularly reference Ready Player One, or the coiner, Neal Stephenson, and the housing novel, Snow Crash. However, no one — not even the media-professed experts — could go into an inch of detail about what the metaverse is or what it does.
Given how broad a term it is and how ill-defined, it was jarring to see Zuckerberg, for instance, plough a small nation’s GDP into the idea, but plough he did. Web3, which is often used interchangeably with “metaverse”, has attracted heavy bags of gold from investors the world over, and as a part of their strategy, any current iteration of the metaverse is included in the plan. While I like what The Sandbox and Decentraland are doing, they are 0.1% of the way to a complete metaverse, they’re just all we have. And so, major, historic organizations — ones you would think have no business in a cartoony social game — are buying land and building.
Last year, the first financial institution to make a play for the metaverse (as they almost certainly want it to be reported), was JPMorgan with their Onyx Lounge in Decentraland. It was a bizarre but interesting entrant to the world of blockchain gaming and one I am trying not to chalk up as simply a PR move. Now, they’ve got company as the first financial institution enters the metaverse with the most clout, The Sandbox.
HSBC Partners with The Sandbox
In a Medium post, The Sandbox announced that HSBC is to become the first financial services provider to join The Sandbox metaverse by buying a plot of LAND, the digital real estate of the game.
The objective of this move isn’t entirely clear quite yet, but the aim is said to be engaging and connecting with sports, esports, and gaming communities.
The Sandbox continues its march towards being a primary metaverse with yet another major name drafted in. There are many famous names in and around The Sandbox conversation, most notably Snoop Dogg, but there are over 200 partnerships, including Warner Music and Gucci. This one, however, is a little more left-field than most of that list!