HSBC has launched a Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio that targets investment from Asian high net worth individuals and accredited investors. Rather than a crypto fund, the investment will focus on five segments such as infrastructure, computing, virtualisation, experience and discovery, and interface.
“The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving,” said Lina Lim, HSBC regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions in the Asia Pacific. “We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem.”
Last year, Facebook’s name change to Meta catapulted the sector into the spotlight. Last month HSBC announced it had bought an NFT plot of land on blockchain platform The Sandbox. In that case, it is in support of HSBC’s sports sponsorship initiatives.
But it’s not the only bank to buy land in the metaverse with others including JP Morgan and a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank.
Meanwhile, HSBC has had extensive blockchain activities for several years, starting with an investment in enterprise blockchain firm R3 back in 2017. In November 2021, it participated in a funding round for Ethereum developer ConsenSys. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) are currently a focus area. The bank is working with eight nations, including the UK, France, Canada, Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the UAE.
It has particularly used blockchain for trade finance (Contour and we.trade), but also for foreign exchange, blockchain bonds, and KYC.