“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. We’re excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive and accessible,” said Suresh Balaji, HSBC CMO, Asia-Pacific.
With its roots in Hong Kong, HSBC makes a natural partner for Hong Kong founded The Sandbox, a subsidiary of major blockchain games firm Animoca Brands. However, arguably HSBC isn’t the first bank to join, with Siam Commercial Bank subsidiary SCB 10X setting up shop last week. It was a trend started by JP Morgan when it bought a property on the Decentraland blockchain platform.
HSBC has had numerous blockchain interests for years, starting with an investment in enterprise blockchain firm R3 back in 2017. It has particularly used blockchain for trade finance (Contour and we.trade), but also for foreign exchange, blockchain bonds, KYC, central bank digital currencies, and more recently, it invested in blockchain startup ConsenSys.
Meanwhile, The Sandbox crypto token is valued at $3.3 billion and it raised a $93 million Series B funding round late last year. It has inked numerous deals with celebrities and particularly music brands, given that The Sandbox can provide a virtual concert venue. So Warner Music and Snoop Dogg have a presence, as do Adidas and Ubisoft games.