Standard Chartered buys virtual plot in The Sandbox to begin metaverse expansion

Standard Chartered is the latest global bank to enter the burgeoning metaverse space via a partnership between its Hong Kong subsidiary and The Sandbox, according to a press statement released on April 25.

According to the statement, the bank became the first bank to acquire “virtual land at The Sandbox metaverse’s Mega City district.” 

StanChart said the purchase is geared towards creating a:

“Metaverse experience [that] actively engages its clients, partners, staff, and the tech community, to explore co-creation opportunities in this new and exciting space.”

The acquisition was led by SC Ventures, Standard Chartered Group’s innovation, fintech investment, and ventures arm.

Speaking on the development, the head of Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures, Alex Manson, said: 

For the past few years, we have been building business models in crypto, digital assets and see the rise of the metaverse as a critical milestone in the Web3.0 evolution.

This view was also echoed by Mary Huen, CEO of the lender’s  Hong Kong unit, who said:

The metaverse is a vision for the next phase in the internet’s evolution, bringing new possibilities and unique experiences through the use of immersive technologies. Our involvement in the metaverse allows us to reimagine our relationship with existing and potential clients on this new platform and our approach to enhance client journeys.

Major financial institutions like HSBC, JPMorgan, and others have also made strategic investments into the metaverse. Per a CryptoSlate report, JPMorgan opened a virtual lounge in the popular blockchain-based world Decentraland, named “onyx lounge.”

Others like CitiBank, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs have also said they believe the metaverse is a multi-trillion opportunity that needs to be harnessed by the public.