Nomura and Laser Digital launch botanical gardens in The Sandbox metaverse – Ledger Insights
Nomura and its digital asset company Laser Digital today revealed their changing presence in The Sandbox. It is a Japanese botanical garden experience that is true to its heritage and with a nod to sustainability.
Users can meet upper management avatars and complete up to 20 tasks, including planting a bonsai tree.
“Since our launch last year as a digital assets subsidiary of Nomura, we have been eager to explore the potential of the Metaverse,” said Jez Mohieldin, CEO of Laser Digital. “We are excited to experience the new interactions enabled by this project and look forward to continuing the partnership with the digital company to advance Nomura’s progress in the digital assets sector.”
Laser Digital’s initial activity focused on investing in projects in the field of digital assets. It recently launched its asset management arm through the Bitcoin Adoption Fund. Targeting institutional investors. It is preparing to launch a digital asset trading arm.
Metaverse for financial institutions
Meanwhile, The Sandbox is a blockchain-based experience that features voxel graphics, which are essentially 3D pixels. Its main competitor is Decentraland. Despite being voxel-based, Sandbox generally has higher production values. In this case, the Nomura – Laser Digital experience was developed by Cédric Bensoussan at Metaverse Studio Paris.
Many financial institutions are experimenting with the transformation. The initial presence is often fairly basic. But in the future, when people spend more of their (non-gaming) time in 3D worlds, investing and banking will likely take place in the transformed world. One can imagine meeting with an investment advisor to going to a bank branch. And some metaverse objects, like the land in The Sandbox, are investments in themselves.
In its initial stage, the metaverse is best suited for time-constrained events that attract a lot of people. Hence, celebrity parties or the ability to interact with celebrities has proven popular. Otherwise, it would be like going to a mall outside of business hours. Lack of activity creates a calm atmosphere, even if there is a lot to do.
While NFTs and the metaverse are largely past the hype in the West, there is much more activity in Asia. Dozens of NFTs are still being released every week in Japan.
The Sandbox has proven most popular with financial institutions focused on Asia (DBS, HSBC, SCB 10X, Standard Chartered), and Decentraland in the West (JP Morgan, Caixabank, Fidelity, Mastercard). Meanwhile, Japanese banks and other companies established the Japan Metaverse Economic Zone (JMEZ), although Nomura was not involved.