JP Morgan Opens Lounge in Decentraland, Identifies Metaverse Opportunities
JP Morgan has become the first Wall Street bank to arrive in the metaverse, launching a virtual lounge called Onyx (the name of the bank’s blockchain division) in Decentraland’s Metajuku district.
A portrait of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan and a known skeptic of cryptocurrencies, hangs on the first floor of Onyx, while visitors can watch videos on cryptocurrency market developments on the second.
The bank also published a report, revealing the opportunities that the metaverse can offer.
“We are now at an inflection point, where it seems that not a day goes by without a company or celebrity announcing that they are building a presence in a virtual universe,” the report said.
“One of the great possibilities of the metaverse is that it will massively expand access to the marketplace for consumers from emerging and frontier economies”.
According to JP Morgan, the average price of virtual land doubled from US$6,000 to US$12,000 in six months last year across the four main Web3 metaverse sites: Decentraland, The SandBox, Somnium Space, and Cryptovoxels. It also explained that investors are increasingly attracted to the “ownership economy”, with its growth largely due to brands buying up pockets of virtual space so they can create “stores and other experiences”.
JP Morgan noted also noted that instead of traditional companies, DeFi (decentralised finance) protocols and DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations) could play a significant role in providing credit, mortgages and rental agreements in the virtual world.
Despite its nascency, many are already touting the metaverse as the next frontier of the Internet.
In an interview with Bread News, Twobadour – one of the buyers behind the world’s most expensive NFT – said that the metaverse is not meant to be an “alternative to the real world” but rather “something that augments it”.
Significant challenges remain unaddressed, including the lack of interoperability between platforms, as well ambiguous social and commercial infrastructures, which has created the impression that the metaverse is nothing more than a gamified version of the physical world.
It remains to be seen if the metaverse will develop beyond a hype, but as the world becomes increasingly digitised, the explosive growth seen in the decentralised space should not be ignored by investors.