Web3 neobank hi is saying hello to a new partner.

Metaverse gaming conglomerate Animoca Brands is investing $30 million in the financial app, with a view to amplify the NFT utility in the industry.

The gaming and metaverse heavyweight is best known for its popular Ethereum-based metaverse game The Sandbox.


Meanwhile, hi made headlines after announcing that it was teaming up with Mastercard to launch debit cards customized with CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, and other notable NFT collections. The product's been presented as a world first, and cards will start to be shipped later this quarter.

Speaking to Decrypt, hi's co-founder Sean Rach revealed that brands in Animoca's portfolio will be next.

"There are many areas for collaboration," he said. "This will undoubtedly enhance awareness and offer valuable opportunities for user onboarding within their ecosystem.”

"One of the key advantages will be enabling our users to make direct transactions with tokens from the Animoca Brands ecosystem such as SAND, EDU, APE, REVV, GMEE, and others through hi Debit Cards," Rach told Decrypt.

Looking ahead, the hi co-founder hopes the "significant" $30 million investment will deliver improvements to hi's existing products—and the development of new ones. Support for corporate accounts is a possibility too, with Animoca's established presence in Latin America potentially opening the door to new markets.


Offering an insight into how the $30 million investment will be spent, Animoca's co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu said in a news release that the firm "will collaborate with hi on its continued development of the hi App and the hi Protocol to drive positive impact for the broader Web3 ecosystem."

hi protocol to roll out ‘Google login for Web3’

Digital assets have been around for over a decade now, but consumers still face friction as they attempt to switch to and from fiat.

For its part, hi says it’s attempting to build a user-friendly, all-in-one service where savings, investments, and payments come together. The project claims it's already amassed close to 3.5 million users—and a million of them have undergone KYC checks.

Another area where Animoca will be hoping to add value concerns the hi Protocol—a layer-2 solution for Ethereum—with both companies vowing to provide developers with a unique mechanism for authenticating humans.

Rach likened this to a "Google login for Web3."

Human-only networks have become a hot-button topic following the launch of Worldcoin this week, which aims to discern real people from AI bots through the use of "digital passports" called World IDs.

But given its system involves physically scanning the irises of billions of users, this approach could still take many years to pay dividends.

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