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CitizenM Plans Hotel In The Metaverse

Artwork depicting citizenM's planned hotel in the metaverse.

Luxury hotel operator citizenM has acquired a site in The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming virtual world, and says it plans to build a hotel in the metaverse. 

The metaverse is generally conceived as a network of virtual environments where users can work, socialize or play, and which is accessible via different devices. CitizenM's hotel will be the first one in the metaverse, according to the company.

Once the site has been acquired, citizenM says it will finance the hotel in the virtual world through the sale of 2,000 non-fungible tokens.

Each of the 2,000 NFTs will be priced equally, according to the hotelier, but purchasers will be assigned one of three levels at random: 1,500 regular citizens, 450 special citizens and 50 legendary citizens. 

The levels will determine how many utilities each of the NFT owners will receive. CitizenM says the utilities will take the form of discounts — free drinks and other items redeemable at any of citizenM's portfolio of hotels in the real world.

The rush to be part of the metaverse also extends to financial services firms. HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, launched a fund that will allow wealthy clients in Singapore and Hong Kong to invest in the metaverse. Last month, the bank announced plans to buy a site in The Sandbox.

"The metaverse ecosystem, while still at its early stage, is rapidly evolving," Lina Lim, HSBC's regional head of discretionary and funds for investments and wealth solutions, Asia Pacific, told Reuters. "We see many exciting opportunities in this space as companies of different backgrounds and sizes are flocking into the ecosystem."

Other banks are entering the metaverse as well. In February, JPMorgan Chase created a virtual lounge in Decentraland, featuring a tiger and a portrait of CEO Jamie Dimon. At the same time, the bank released a report claiming that the metaverse will represent an opportunity for companies to realize $1T in revenue.