Things are getting real in the virtual world now!

JPMorgan Chase, the world's massive investment bank, is slated to become the first bank to join the metaverse.  JPMorgan have long been exploring the possibilities of metaverse, and now the bank has officially bought some land in the virtual destination, Decentraland. There's even a tiger in the mix.

Having opened a lounge in Decentraland, The largest bank in the U.S. has become the first lender to arrive in the metaverse. Along with launching the 'Onyx' lounge, which refers to the bank's existing suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services, also released a paper exploring how businesses can find opportunities in the metaverse.

The exciting details you can't miss:

  • The bank's lounge besides in metajuku, a virtual version of Tokyo's Harajuku shopping district
  • A tiger is wandering on the first floor, and a picture of JP Morgan's CEO Jamie Dimon hangs on the wall.
  • There's an avatar watching experts talk about the crypto markets on the second floor.
  • The bank plans to serve content creators who plan to commercialise their creations within the metaverse.
  • Visitors to the Onyx lounge can create their avatars by choosing a gender, skin tone, hairstyle, clothes and accessories.

We are definitely a couple of years away before we start to see the mass adoption of the virtual land and metaverse. Still, with banking giants like JPMorgan beginning its experimenting with virtual land, this is going mainstream all the way. Imagine wearing the VR headsets and going to the virtual bank in the metaverse and applying for a loan. Could it be more convenient? Well, we are not really too far away from that.

Because of the arrival of big brands into the metaverse, the meta economy, including the creator economy, is predicted to grow tremendously. The bank believes the market could generate around $1 trillion in annual revenues.

According to the bank's paper, JPMorgan may function as a bank in the virtual world in the same way that it does in the real world because the virtual worlds in the metaverse have their own population, GDP, and currencies. It can support cross-border payments, foreign exchange, financial asset creation, trading, and safekeeping the same way a bank can.

According to the bank, PWC, Walmart, Nike, Verizon, Gap, Adidas, Hulu, and Atari are among the early users and investors in the blockchain economy. JP Morgan anticipates a new workforce and also more virtual concerts similar to artists such as Ariana Grande and Marshmallow.

Following the release of the JP Morgan report, LAND, the token of metaverse platform Decentraland, is up more than 8% on the day.

Let's look at the other interesting happenings in the virtual world:

Disney is getting Metaverse ready as the CEO Calls it 'Next Great Storytelling Frontier '

As the internet's future vision evolves, we may soon see Disney's incredible library of characters, properties, and experiences in the Metaverse. The giant media conglomerate is making significant strides in the field, announcing the creation of a new job to supervise its metaverse initiatives today.

In an internal email, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that Mike White had been elevated from internally to "a new role: Senior Vice President, Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences." The job will be focused on Disney's efforts to create metaverse experiences.

"This is the so-called metaverse, which I believe is the next great storytelling frontier and the perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of Storytelling Excellence, Innovation, and Audience Focus," Chapek wrote. "Teams across the company are exploring this new canvas, and I have been blown away by what I've seen." Chapek has already hinted at the company's goals in the field, most recently telling investors in November that the company is planning for "our own" Metaverse. Lately, the corporation has advertised job openings for NFT experts, implying that metaverse integration is on the horizon.

"While the storytelling that will define our metaverse presence will of course emanate from our creative teams, Mike will establish our overall vision and strategy for the consumer journey through these new story worlds," Chapek added in the email.

Pak NFT sold for $53M in a Bid to Free Julian Assange

We are back with another DAO that has successfully coalesced around a cause. With a price of 16,593 ETH, AssangeDAO has won the auction for Pak's one-of-a-kind Clock NFT. The NFT is part of a cooperation between Pak and Julian Assange, with earnings going to Assange's release efforts. The DAO has communicated with Assange's family in connection with the case.

Following a successful crowdfunding effort that began last week, AssangeDAO bid 16,593 ETH, which is worth roughly $53 million at today's pricing. For every ETH donated to the DAO, contributors will get 1 million JUSTICE tokens utilised to control the DAO. Holders will have a say in how Pak's NFT is handled.

AssangeDAO also has 17,422 ETH left, according to the crowdfunding platform Juicebox.This is one of the most valuable NFTs globally, coming in third after Beeple's Everydays: The First 5,000 Days and Merge, another Pak NFT that sold fractionally for $91.8 million in December 2021.

Assange is most known for founding WikiLeaks, a non-profit organisation disseminating leaked or classified news since 2006. After WikiLeaks leaked documents provided by the US government, the US authorities accused Assange of violating the 1917 Espionage Act.

WikiLeaks was one of the first websites to take Bitcoin, giving the asset class mainstream exposure in its early days. It had a similar role in Bitcoin's early history as Silk Road, the darknet where illegal drugs were traded in return for Bitcoin. We had seen a similar story before where a FreeRossDAO spent $6.2 Million for the Ross Ulbricht NFT collection. Ross was the founder of Silk Road and is currently receiving a life sentence plus 40 years in prison for his part in the website's creation. After launching his NFT collection in December, he garnered significant backing from a decentralised autonomous group.