Siam Commercial Bank catches the metaverse bug

Siam Commercial Bank catches the metaverse bug

Virtual land plots on The Sandbox, a gaming platform that allows users to build a virtual world using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are seen in this illustration picture taken March 25, 2022. (Reuters)
Virtual land plots on The Sandbox, a gaming platform that allows users to build a virtual world using non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are seen in this illustration picture taken March 25, 2022. (Reuters)

Thailand’s biggest bank by market value has become the latest lender seeking to capitalize on the metaverse craze, with a unit announcing plans to set up a headquarters in a version of the internet that’s still taking shape.

SCB 10X Co, which oversees Siam Commercial Bank’s investments in technology startups, will become the first banking group entity globally to develop a headquarters in The Sandbox, a blockchain-based virtual platform, it said in a statement on Monday. The virtual space will be ready for public visits by the fourth quarter of this year, it said. SCB 10X’s physical head office is in Bangkok.

Siam Commercial joins HSBC Holdings and JPMorgan Chase in foraying into the metaverse. Yet it’s far from clear what tangible benefits will come from setting up shop in the metaverse, which proponents envision as a more immersive version of the internet, suited for accessing through virtual or augmented reality goggles. 

SCB 10X’s virtual headquarters will comprise three utility zones, including a space for business partners to collaborate on activities and projects and a hub for supporting local artists through a non-fungible token marketplace and gallery, it said.

Siam Commercial founded SCB 10X in 2020 with what it called “the moonshot mission” of boosting growth through technology innovations and investments, according to its website.

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