Adrian Cheng, a Hong Kong real estate magnate Creates Virtual Land in The Sandbox’s Metaverse

Adrian Cheng, CEO of Hong Kong’s New World Development, is foraying into the metaverse with the creation of virtual land on the Sandbox blockchain gaming platform.

The Sandbox is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming startup. The game enables users to create a virtual environment and commercialise in-game things such as digital plots of land purchased or wearables created for their avatars. The products may be exchanged on the Sandbox’s marketplace as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are digital assets that are verified by blockchain technology.

The Sandbox is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming startup. Cheng stated Thursday that he would invest in and buy one of the Sandbox’s biggest acres of digital land. He said that his virtual world would have a “innovation centre” that will highlight the entrepreneurial success of companies in the Greater Bay Area, a new economic zone connecting Hong Kong and Macau with nine Guangdong cities.

The virtual world will include ten firms, including Prenetics, a creator of diagnostic and genetic tests, logistics startup Lalamove, and tech accessories brand Casetify, all of which have links to or relationships with New World Development and Cheng’s venture capital company. According to a news statement from Cheng’s office, the firms will provide NFTs, immersive experiences, and entertainment.

“Providing opportunities for the next generation to be empowered to create, invent, and have a sense of purpose is vital for advancement,” Cheng added. “The digital world is always changing, and we must continually explore and build the metaverse in order to keep ahead of these developments.”

Cheng, the son of Hong Kong tycoon Henry Cheng Kar-shun, has been delving further into the metaverse, a digital universe that blends gaming, social networking, cryptocurrency, augmented and virtual reality, and allows for virtual interaction between users.

In May, his startup capital firm, C Ventures, invested in RTFKT Studios, a Los Angeles-based NFT platform for virtual footwear and collectibles. C Ventures also led a $100 million fundraising round in August for Matrixport, a Singapore-based provider of crypto financial services.

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