DBS enters metaverse in tie-up with The Sandbox to create virtual BetterWorld

SINGAPORE – DBS Bank is creating a metaverse virtual world that will allow users to experience building a better, more sustainable world.

Dubbed DBS BetterWorld, it will be accessible to members of the public, including non-DBS customers, for free.

For this venture, Singapore’s largest bank is partnering The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based decentralised virtual gaming world.

DBS will acquire a 3×3 plot of Land – a unit of virtual real estate in The Sandbox metaverse – which will be developed with immersive elements such as buildings, plants and animals.

Along with The Sandbox, it will also purchase carbon offsets so that the land and production on BetterWorld will be carbon neutral.

The Straits Times understands that BetterWorld will be available when The Sandbox fully launches its metaverse, likely next year. 

The blockchain gaming platform has so far released three seasons – multi-week testing events that allow Sandbox account holders to experience new features – with its third and biggest season unveiled last month. 

The metaverse has been hailed as the future Internet, allowing users to interact through characters or avatars, and buy land or goods using digital currencies. Motion-sensing technologies also help bring these experiences to life – for example, by allowing users to speak to and feel the touch of another avatar.

DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta said the biggest changes in the world of finance have been catalysed by digital advancements over the last decade.

“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,” he said.