British Bank HSBC Files Trademarks for NFTs, Metaverse

Credit: The Canadian Press

On December 15th, British bank HSBC filed trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a variety of Web3-related uses. If approved, the trademark applications will protect HSBC’s name and logo in the nascent technology space.

The uses covered in the trademark applications include downloadable virtual goods, such as non-fungible tokens as they relate to music, artwork, text, audio, and video. They also cover computer programs featuring bank cards, cash cards, cheques, and charge cards for online use.

In addition, HSBC plans to offer financial services in the metaverse. These include payment processing services in regard to credit cards, gift cards, and other payment card transactions. The bank will also likely offer home banking services, perhaps from a virtual branch in the metaverse, as other financial service companies have done.

Finally, HSBC has filed trademark applications under IC 041 and IC 042, which relate to providing entertainment services where users can interact in a recreational setting and building online communities. With these trademark applications, HSBC may throw or host metaverse events, including concerts, as well as foster settings for online communities to grow.

The news of HSBC’s trademarks comes as more banks and financial services companies are entering Web3. Shortly after HSBC filed its applications, Fidelity, an American asset management company, filed their own. Other banks, including JP Morgan, have opened branches in the metaverse this year.

Still, what exactly HSBC will do with its trademarks in Web3 is unknown. It recently said that it would not host cryptocurrencies on its platform, a stark departure from the positions of some top banks, which have allowed their users to invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum through their platforms.

Financial Services Companies Enter Web3 in 2022

Although many view financial service companies and banks like crusty old men wearing suits, many have entered the hip world of Web3 in 2022. At Rarity Sniper this year, we have written many stories about banks and investment companies entering this new technology space. Here are three.

First, two months ago, Swiss financial institution Seba Bank announced the launch of a custodial service for non-fungible tokens. This service will allow clients to store Ethereum NFTs on Seba Bank’s platform for safe keeping.

Next, four months ago, another Swiss bank — Sygnum — became the first Swiss financial institution to enter the metaverse, setting up shop in Decentraland. The move had two purposes: connect clients with crypto-based financial services and showcase the bank’s Web3 products.

Lastly, five months ago, South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank entered The Sandbox metaverse. Through the partnership, KEB Hana offers a virtual branch in the metaverse game that allows people to purchase and monetize digital plots of LAND.

HSBC’s trademark applications show that more financial services companies are entering Web3, which is good news for the space. Here at Rarity Sniper, we’ll keep our eyes open for further developments in the story.