Bankers are the latest to set up shop in the metaverse. Most prominently, at JP Morgan’s salon in Decentraland, which is called the Onyx Lounge, you can be mildly entertained by a portrait of Jamie Dimon, a wandering tiger and a couple of displays talking about smart contracts and the blockchain. HSBC is staking a claim in the Sandbox, where they are trying to lure a younger audience through game play and esports. It’s part marketing, part entertainment.
More interesting is Zelf, which calls itself the first bank of the metaverse. According to this profile in American Banker, Zelf is building an embedded banking system for exchanging value from virtual worlds to the real world, in conjunction with a bank account. It already offers embedded banking in messenger apps. In a typical scenario, a 17-year-old boy might have $2,000 in tokens inside a video game, but needs $50 in real-world dollars for a date with his girlfriend. Zelf would hold the game tokens in escrow and provide the player with a payday loan. If the person couldn’t repay, Zelf would sell the game tokens on its marketplace to other players to compensate for the loss. And if you’re wondering about how to pay for that land you grab in the metaverse, visit TerraZero. It’s offering a “Metaverse Mortgage.”