JPMorgan enters the metaverse alongside new report on its potential


Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

JPMorgan is officially the first major bank to enter the metaverse, having opened a lounge in blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland.

That’s right. The United States’ largest bank has a virtual space called the Onyx Lounge fitted with a portrait of Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s CEO, a walk-in presentation on cryptocurrency, and even a roaming tiger.

Named after the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services, the Onyx Lounge was revealed alongside a report exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse.

The report suspects that “the metaverse will likely infiltrate every sector in some way in the coming years, with the market opportunity estimated at over $1 trillion in yearly revenues”.

Some key figures collated by the report are as follows:

  • Currently, $54 billion (£40bn) is spent on virtual goods every year, almost double the amount spent buying music
  • Around 60 billion messages are sent daily on the gaming platform Roblox
  • NFTs today have a market cap of $41 billion (£30bn)
  • The Sandbox, a blockchain-based virtual world like Decentraland, has more than 200 strategic partnerships to date

“This democratic ownership economy coupled with the possibility of interoperability, could unlock immense economic opportunities, whereby digital goods and services are no longer captive to a singular gaming platform or brand,” the report reads.

Whatever your stance on Web3 and the metaverse, it is clearly showing its strength as an emergent technology. In November last year, a piece of virtual real estate in Decentraland sold for a record $2.4 million (£1.8m).

The record sale follows a doubling in the price of virtual land during the latter half of 2021.

“The average price of a parcel of virtual land doubled in a six-month window in 2021. It jumped from $6,000 in June to $12,000 by December across the four main Web 3.0 metaverses.”

Increasing mainstream adoption of the metaverse is also being driven by massive brands involvement. Nike recently acquired virtual fashion design studio RTFKT, whilst Samsung opened a virtual version of its New York store in Decentraland.

JPMorgan did note that the Metaverse still has a ways to go before mainstream adoption, stating that, “despite much excitement about the possibilities of the metaverse, in order to enable its full potential for engagement, community building, self-expression and commerce, key areas need to be further developed and matured.”

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