The Sandbox is becoming a playground for big brands to begin exploring the hype-driven metaverse. Now, Europe's second-largest bank, HSBC, and American noughties celeb turned crypto enthusiast, Paris Hilton, are joining the fun. 

HSBC announced this morning a new partnership with the metaverse platform, which included the purchase of a virtual plot of LAND, The Sandbox's tokenized equivalent of digital real estate.

The bank will reportedly put this plot to work, building various esports and gaming activities for enthusiasts. 

"Through our partnership with The Sandbox we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers," the chief marketing officer of HSBC's Asia-Pacific branch, Suresh Balaji, said in a prepared statement. "We're excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive, and accessible."


Animoca Brands is the parent company of The Sandbox and is heavily involved in all things crypto and gaming. The Sandbox is a gaming platform built on the Ethereum blockchain that leverages cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

It's not dissimilar from popular titles like Roblox or Minecraft, except essentially every object, avatar, and plot of virtual land can be bought, sold, and custom-designed by any player. 

As for Paris Hilton, the celebrity inaugurated her partnership with The Sandbox with a special DJ set at this year's SXSW festival. The concert took place on Tuesday night in a virtual world prepared by The Sandbox. 


"I am a huge believer in the metaverse and the way web3 technologies are empowering creators, gamers, and artists," said Hilton in a press release. "It's such an important movement and community that I'm proud to be a part of. I can't wait for people to see what amazing experiences The Sandbox and I bring together to the metaverse."

The two partnerships haven't been lost by speculators either.

Following the pair of announcements, The Sandbox's native SAND token spiked by roughly 8%, according to data pulled from CoinMarketCap. The token is currently trading at $2.92, still down more than 65% from its all-time high set back in November. 

Brands and the rise of the metaverse

The promise of an open, virtual world owned by its creators and populated by anyone with an internet connection has not gone unnoticed by major corporations. 

Facebook is perhaps the prime example. The Zuckerberg-led social media empire rebranded their entire operation to Meta (a nod and wink to their imperial ambitions of owning the metaverse). 

Elsewhere, brands ranging from Nike, Red Bull, McDonald's, Walmart, and more are rapidly filing trademarks for use in similar virtual worlds. 

And with many of these trademarks, including terms like "cryptocurrencies" and "NFTs," one can be sure that no matter who owns the emergent metaverse, it will most likely be tokenized. 


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.

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