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JPMorgan opens branch in Metaverse

Feb 14, 2022 | By PYMNTS.com

Having opened a lounge in Decentraland, J.P. Morgan is the first lender to arrive in the metaverse, CoinDesk reported Tuesday (Feb. 15).

Decentraland is a virtual world based on blockchain technology. The Onyx lounge was released alongside a J.P. Morgan paper explaining how businesses could find new opportunities in the virtual world.

“There is a lot of client interest to learn more about the metaverse,” Christine Moy, J.P. Morgan’s head of crypto and the metaverse, told CoinDesk via 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.”

J.P. Morgan reportedly justified its new metaverse-related actions through the prices — the average price of a parcel of virtual land had doubled in the last half of 2021, going from $6,000 in June to $12,000 by December.

There’s been more mainstream acceptance of virtual money and things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse is another thing that has been rapidly advancing in the past several months, with several companies offering gaming and other types of opportunities.

Decentraland has also seen a new virtual store from Samsung, a replication of its New York location. Before that, Barbados made a version of its embassy within the metaverse, per the report.

PYMNTS wrote that Chinese tech companies are also starting to get into the metaverse, with companies like Tencent, Alibaba, NetEase and TikTok owner ByteDance exploring the space.

Related: ByteDance, Tencent, Alibaba Invest in China’s Regulated Metaverse

In China, the metaverse is likely to feature more censorship, with Beijing moving to keep a check on domestic companies. The total addressable market for the metaverse in China might be 52 trillion yuan.

The challenge might come down to getting younger users involved in the metaverse, which could involve utilizing popular gaming or social media applications.

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