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JP Morgan is first Wall Street bank to open account in metaverse; launches virtual lounge in Decentraland

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has a lounge in the metaverse: Visitors are greeted by a digital portrait of Jamie Dimon and a roaming tiger. Walk upstairs and you’ll see an executive’s presentation on the crypto economy.

JPMorgan is the first Wall Street bank to launch a presence in the metaverse, joining a diverse group of brands to do so including Samsung and the Barbados embassy. (File Photo: Bloomberg)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has a lounge in the metaverse: Visitors are greeted by a digital portrait of Jamie Dimon and a roaming tiger. Walk upstairs and you’ll see an executive’s presentation on the crypto economy.

The lounge is located at the Metajuku mall in Decentraland, a browser-based metaverse backed by the Digital Currency Group. Onyx, JPMorgan’s blockchain unit formed in 2020, set up the lounge as it released a paper on how businesses can explore opportunities in the metaverse.

JPMorgan is the first Wall Street bank to launch a presence in the metaverse, joining a diverse group of brands to do so including Samsung and the Barbados embassy. The bank has been a proponent of blockchain technology and its use in financial transactions, as evidenced by its own JPM Coin. The metaverse effort represents a further step in its investment in building out infrastructure in the crypto and blockchain ecosystem. Decentraland allows users to explore its metaverse by creating avatars and buying goods including land with its native currency MANA.

The early part of JPMorgan’s blockchain efforts was “analyzing the internal use cases,” said Christine Moy, Onyx global head of Liink, crypto and the metaverse, in an interview. “Now we are focused on driving value externally by providing infrastructure” including blockchain and payments technology to clients such as game publishers.

In the paper, the bank said the success of the metaverse is dependent on having a “robust and flexible financial ecosystem” and its core competencies in cross-border payments, foreign exchange, financial assets creation, trading and safekeeping can play a “major role in the metaverse.”

Similar to JPMorgan’s role in the real world, “we are well positioned to bring together global trade and commerce” across digital universes, said Moy. “I would expect we would have a presence in all the major ones.”

For clients thinking about entering the metaverse, JPMorgan can provide an “integrated payments hub” with full solutions such as ledgering and wallets, said Adit Gadgil, head of e-commerce and TMT at JPMorgan Payments.

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