DBS has staked out a piece of real estate in the metaverse through a partnership with The Sandbox, a 3D user-generated gaming platform.
Called DBS BetterWorld, the virtual environment provides an interactive metaverse experience that showcases “the importance of building a better, more sustainable world”, the bank says in a statement.
The alliance with The Sandbox makes DBS the first bank in Singapore to establish a presence in the metaverse. It also marks a new milestone in the lender’s efforts to explore the potential of Web 3.0 for the benefit of its customers and the broader community, DBS says.
The 3x3 plot of land – a unit of virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse – will be developed with immersive elements. According to the bank, DBS BetterWorld will enable it to advance its sustainability agenda by providing an avenue for visitors to learn more about environmental, social and governance concerns.
For instance, DBS will use the platform to profile social entrepreneurs in Asia who have been driving positive impact through innovative business models. Since 2014, DBS and the DBS Foundation have helped over 800 social enterprises across the region scale their businesses and awarded over S$10 million (US$7.15 million) in grants to close to 100 social enterprises.
Additionally, the bank will work with partners and collaborators from the government, community, business, and technology sectors to develop meaningful concepts to enrich the DBS BetterWorld experience.
Piyush Gupta, chief executive officer of DBS, comments: “Over the last decade, the biggest changes in the world of finance have been catalyzed by digital advancements. In the coming decade, driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, these shifts have the potential to be even more profound.
“Metaverse technology, while still evolving, could also fundamentally change the way banks interact with customers and communities. Given the speed of change, experimenting and learning-by-doing enable us to best test the potential of various technologies.”
Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Hong Kong, says the partnership with The Sandbox also contributes to "our ongoing efforts to groom the next generation of tech talent who will eventually lead DBS in tapping new and emerging technologies to usher in the future of banking”.
The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to store, trade, and monetize their creations.