HSBC joins the metaverse craze; launches metaverse portfolio for wealthy Asian clients
As you may recall, last month HSBC enter the metaverse with the acquisition of a virtual plot of land in an online gaming space called Sandbox. The acquisition was part of the digital push by the banking giant to engage with sports, e-sports, and gaming enthusiasts via its slice of turf in The Sandbox, a virtual space majority-owned by Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands.
Today, HSBC Holdings officially launched a fund to capture investment opportunities in the metaverse for its rich clients in Hong Kong and Singapore as financial services companies tap into Silicon Valley’s new virtual reality.
In a statement on Wednesday, HSBC said its Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio, managed by its asset management arm, will focus on investing within the metaverse ecosystem across five segments – infrastructure, computing, virtualization, experience, and discovery, and interface.
In another statement, Lina Lim, regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions, Asia Pacific, at HSBC, said: “The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving. We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem.”
Metaverse took off in October 2021 after Facebook rebranded to Meta to reflect its focus on the metaverse. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said that the tech giant has committed $10 billion to transition from its much-criticized social network and related family of apps into what Zuckerberg describes as an “embodied internet.”
Since then, the tech world is abuzz with talk of the metaverse. A few weeks after the Facebook announcement, a plot of digital land in the metaverse was sold for a record $2.43 million, making it the world’s most expensive virtual real estate.
HSBC is the latest in a series of banks entering the metaverse space. The banking giant’s foray into the Sandbox metaverse late last month followed that of Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, which set up a shop about a month ago. The movement into the metaverse by financial institutions was a trend started by JP Morgan when the banking giant bought a property on the Decentraland blockchain platform.
The metaverse is a digital world where the real and virtual worlds converge into a vision of science fiction. You can also think of the metaverse as a virtual world where millions of people could gather to work, play, and socialize in immersive virtual environments and communicate across shared spaces across different platforms.