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JPMorgan Bullish on the Metaverse, Becomes the First Traditional Bank to Open Virtual Lounge in Decentraland

By February 16, 2022 No Comments

Key takeaways:

  • JPMorgan’s blockchain unit has released a report on the current state of the metaverse 
  • The researchers identified key areas of economic opportunity and potential obstacles
  • The bank set up a metaverse lounge in Decentraland

Investment bank JPMorgan has released an in-depth report on the metaverse and opened up a virtual lounge in the highly popular virtual world Decentraland (MANA), as a sign of the banking giant’s commitment to the metaverse.

JPMorgan says economic and entertainment opportunities in the metaverse are “limitless”

The interest in the metaverse reached new heights after Facebook rebranded to Meta late last year and showcased its commitment to the futuristic and somewhat vague concept. The bank’s blockchain analysts wrote:

“The elements of a new digital age are converging at scale. The metaverse is the driving force bringing these elements together in a unified, immersive experience.”

In the report released on Tuesday, the investment giant took note of economic opportunities that stem from the all-encompassing nature of the metaverse. According to the research, $54 billion is spent on digital items each year, with the figure likely to increase over the coming years significantly. Furthermore, the market cap of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) recently surpassed $40 billion, which showcases demand for digital items that are poised to be the backbone of the new virtual economy.

The interest in crypto-powered metaverse projects exploded last November after Facebook rebranded to Meta. Image source: The Block

The bank also examined how the shift to virtual environments might impact the workforce going forward. Designers, software developers, digital content creators, and event organizers will likely be in high demand as the opportunities to socialize in the metaverse grow.

However, key obstacles will have to be overcome for the metaverse to reach its full potential. The researchers identified regulation, tax policy, digital infrastructure, and pricy concerns as the key areas that need further improvement for the industry to become truly mainstream.

JP Morgan is greeting users in the “Onyx Lounge,” a virtual space in Decentraland

In addition to releasing a report on the state of the metaverse industry, JPMorgan’s blockchain department Onyx opened up virtual space in the rapidly growing Decentraland virtual world.

JP Morgan’s “Onyx Lounge” in Decentraland. Image source: Screenshot from Decentraland

Users who visit the so-called “Onyx Lounge” are greeted by a digital image of JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon and a tiger roaming the virtual real estate – a somewhat curious pairing.

The investments in the metaverse space have seen a massive spike over the past couple of months. Case in point, last month, Microsoft announced it is acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion to expand its metaverse presence while tech giant Apple and entertainment behemoth Disney also deepened their ties to the growing industry.