JPMorgan stakes a claim in the metaverse with Decentraland lounge

Wall Street megabank JPMorgan has officially set up shop in the metaverse. 

The bank announced Tuesday the opening of a new lounge in Decentraland, a blockchain-based world where users can build virtual spaces and roam.

The new location, dubbed Onyx Lounge after its crypto-focused unit, features an image of bank CEO Jamie Dimon, which transforms into a jpeg image of Onyx's Christine Moy. A spiral staircase leads users to a room with nondescript chairs. 

The bank claims to be the first company in the banking industry to enter the metaverse, a vast arena of different virtual worlds that also includes Crypto Voxels and Sandbox.

Indeed, JPMorgan joins the likes of crypto-natives firms to open up storefronts in the metaverse. Techies are building a crypto Wall Street in the Frankfurt district of Crypto Voxels, as previously reported. 

Screenshot by Frank Chaparro

Metaverse deep dive

JPMorgan unveiled the lounge as part of a broader research report covering the metaverse. In addition to noting the surge in the market capitalization of metaverse tokens since Facebook announced its pivot to Meta at the end of last year, the bank outlined some of the opportunities the metaverse presents for brands and consumers. 

"We see companies of all shapes and sizes entering the metaverse in different ways, including household names like Walmart, Nike, Gap, Verizon, Hulu, PWC, Adidas, Atari and others," the firm noted in the report.

The entrance of new firms into the metaverse has been a tailwind for parcels of real estate across different platforms, with JPMorgan estimating the average price of a parcel of metaverse land doubled in a six-month window in 2021. 

"It jumped from $6,000 in June to $12,000 by December across the four main Web 3.0 metaverses," according to the bank.

Such growth, the analysis contends, will also result in the formation of digital economies as well as metaverse-focused financial products. 

Here's the bank:

"Supply and demand dynamics are driving more people into the meta-economy. In turn, this will require the development of new skills and will also generate new way[s] of making money. After all, people will have to develop and build the products that are consumed in the virtual world—establishing huge opportunities for the creator economy."

Over time, the market for metaverse real estate could evolve in a similar way as the real estate market in the analog world. 

"In time, the virtual real estate market could start seeing services much like in the physical world, including credit, mortgages and rental agreements," the report noted.