HSBC Holdings has launched a fund aimed at capturing opportunities in the metaverse for its wealthy clients in Singapore and Hong Kong.
In a statement on Wednesday, HSBC stated that it had created a portfolio, named the ‘Metaverse Discretionary Strategy’ which would focus on investing in five key segments of the metaverse including computing, virtualization, discovery, interface, and infrastructure. The portfolio, which will be managed by the bank’s asset management arm is designed for its high net worth and ultra-high net worth customers in Hong Kong and Singapore who have been requesting to invest in Silicon Valley’s new virtual reality.
“The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving.” Lina Lim, the regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions Asia Pacific at HSBC said in a statement. “We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem.”
The metaverse is a concept of a persistent, online, 3D universe that combines multiple different virtual spaces. Although not required, cryptocurrencies can be a great fit for a metaverse. They allow for creating a digital economy with different types of utility tokens and virtual collectibles (NFTs).
Last month, HSBC became the first global bank to enter the Sandbox metaverse after buying virtual land from the blockchain gaming firm. The bank has said that it intended on developing the said land, engaging and connecting with sports, esports, and gaming enthusiasts, after seeing “great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms”.
With recent reports by Oxfam and banking giant Credit Suisse disclosing a sweeping rise in the headcount of dollar millionaires and billionaires in Asia in the past year, it can be seen why HSBC chose to debut the metaverse portfolio for clients in that region.
With the concept of the metaverse rising in recent months, institutional investors have been betting on the massive growth of this sector in the coming years. A recent report by Citi has projected the metaverse to be a 13 trillion economy in the next six years, terming it as the “next generation of the internet”.
Already, JPMorgan has ready entered the metaverse after opening its own “Onyx Lounge” in Decentraland. Other banks that are reportedly experimenting in the blockchain-based virtual reality world include American Express and Delaware-based challenger bank Zelf.