Nomura, in collaboration with its subsidiary Laser Digital, unveils a traditional Japanese botanical garden experience in The Sandbox metaverse. The immersive venture aims to integrate heritage, sustainability, and digital asset exploration.
While the initial enthusiasm surrounding cryptocurrencies and the metaverse has allegedly cooled off, Nomura, a Japanese bank, alongside its Swiss digital arm, Laser Digital, seeks to rejuvenate interest by melding tradition with cutting-edge technology. Within the confines of “The Sandbox“, a metaverse launched in 2011, the two firms present an intriguing virtual Japanese botanical garden.
The Nomura & Laser Digital Botanical Garden makes its debut in @TheSandboxGame #metaverse! Complete 20 quests, cultivate a bonsai tree, meet avatars, learn about our strategic investments and innovations, plus much more. Trailer below! Press release: https://t.co/b41ghzbCGi pic.twitter.com/0CbQ41RdUO
— Nomura (@Nomura) October 30, 2023
Users can engage with avatars of the companies’ senior management, tackle up to 20 unique tasks like nurturing a bonsai tree, and gather insights about the firms’ digital innovations using strategically placed QR codes.
Journey behind the digital curtain
Jez Mohideen, CEO of Laser Digital, expressed his excitement about the project, stating,
“Since our inception last year as Nomura’s digital offshoot, we’ve been eager to delve into the metaverse’s potential. This botanical garden experiment allows us to explore a whole new dimension of interaction.”
The Sandbox, represented by NFTs on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains, might have seen its virtual land value decline post-crypto craze. Still, its potential for unique user experiences remains vast.
This initiative, crafted by Cédric Bensoussan and the innovative team at Metaverse Studio Par, is a testament to the metaverse’s resilience and adaptability.
Dubai: The new digital frontier for Laser Digital
Initially, Laser Digital emphasized venture investments within the digital asset realm. However, their recent launch of the “Bitcoin Adoption Fund” showcases a broader ambition. This initiative, tailored for institutional investors, marks only the start. The firm’s future seems promising, with plans to roll out a more diversified suite of investment tools in the rapidly evolving digital arena.
Their endeavors haven’t gone unnoticed. Laser Digital recently earned a full crypto services license in Dubai. Additionally, they’ve secured In-Principal Approval from Abu Dhabi Global Market’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority, pending specific conditions.
Financial titans and their metaverse foray
Laser Digital and Nomura aren’t the sole financial players in the metaverse. The Sandbox, in particular, has seen an influx of Asian-centric financial giants such as HSBC, DBS Bank, and Standard Chartered. Axa, the French insurer, marks its metaverse presence with “Axadia.”
However, while The Sandbox entices many Eastern firms, its counterpart, “Decentraland”, seems to be the favored playground for Western financial institutions.
Notably, Wall Street juggernauts like JPMorgan, Fidelity, Mastercard, and even Spain’s Caixabank have established a footprint there. JPMorgan, in its pioneering spirit, not only welcomes visitors to its stylish Onyx Lounge but also leads the charge in cryptocurrency with its JPM Coin. This digital token already boasts a daily transaction worth that eclipses a billion dollars.
Switzerland joins the metaverse movement
The allure of the metaverse isn’t restricted to the East or West; it’s truly global. Switzerland’s Sygnum Bank took a bold step into “Decentraland” by announcing a branch in the heart of the virtual New York Times Square. Visitors to this branch are greeted by a “crypto punk,” symbolizing the fusion of finance and digital trends.
Julius Baer, the renowned private bank, has also tapped into the metaverse potential. Their unique approach involved a Roblox platform-based game titled “Be Baer Challenge”, targeting tech-savvy talent.