JPMorgan, the largest bank in the U.S., said it has become the first lender to arrive in the metaverse, having opened a lounge in Decentraland, a virtual world based on blockchain technology.
As well as the unveiling of the Onyx lounge (the name refers to the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services), JPMorgan also released a paper exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse.
« There is a lot of client interest to learn more about the metaverse,” Christine Moy, JPMorgan’s head of crypto and the metaverse, said in an email. “We put together our white paper to help clients cut through the noise and highlight what the current reality is, and what needs to be built next in technology, commercial infrastructure, privacy/identity and workforce, in order to maximize the full potential of our lives in the metaverse.”
With the mainstream acceptance of things like non-fungible tokens (NFT), the past year has seen a breathless advance into the metaverse, a catch-all for immersive gaming, world-building and entertainment, fueled by integrated commerce applications. In January, electronics giant Samsung opened a version of its New York store in Decentraland, and in November Barbados established a metaverse embassy, also in Decentraland.
JPMorgan begins its assessment of “metanomics” by pointing out that the average price of a parcel of virtual land doubled in the latter half of 2021, jumping from $6,000 in June to $12,000 by December across the four main Web 3 metaverse sites: Decentraland, The Sandbox, Somnium Space and Cryptovoxels.
“In time, the virtual real estate market could start seeing services much like in the physical world, including credit, mortgages and rental agreements,” said the JPMorgan report. It added that decentralized finance (DeFi) collateral management could well come into play, and that rather than traditional finance companies this could be done by decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO).