Hi, the Hong Kong-based Web3 financial app and ecosystem, and Animoca Brands, the company advancing digital property rights for gaming and the metaverse, have joined forces by entering into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strategic partnership.

As part of the partnership, subject to agreement of definitive terms, Animoca Brands will invest $30 million in hi and collaborate on a number of exciting initiatives, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

It is noted that the two companies’ shared vision aims to amplify the utility of fungible tokens and NFTs within the Web3 space.

The partnership is expected to lead to deep integration between Animoca Brands’ ecosystem and hi’s innovative services that are driving Web3 mass adoption.

With a strong focus on boosting the hi ecosystem, anchored by the hi app – a cutting-edge financial super app for Web3 – and the hi Protocol (hiP) – a scalable, EVM compatible, Sybil-resistant layer-2 sidechain for Ethereum – the two companies will work to provide developers with a unique-human authentication mechanism through hiP’s groundbreaking Proof of Human Identity (PoHI) solution.

Animoca Brands said that as a leader in the non-fungible token (NFT) space, the firm will support hi’s vision to deliver real-world use cases for cryptocurrencies and utility tokens, allowing users to directly spend and be rewarded with certain tokens used in the Animoca Brands ecosystem, including SAND, EDU, APE, REVV, GMEE, and others.

In 2022, hi – which has amassed over 3.5 million users with 1 million KYC-ed users – announced the world’s first debit card featuring NFT avatar customization, powered by Mastercard.

With the first cards shipping in the third quarter of 2023, eligible cardholders will be able to personalize the face of their debit card with an NFT avatar they verifiably own, and spend their fiat and digital currencies at more than 90 million locations worldwide.

Animoca Brands’ portfolio companies could also benefit from this unique customization feature.

“We are looking forward to investing in and partnering with hi, which is committed to bridging the gap between the fiat and cryptocurrency worlds,

“As part of this partnership we will collaborate with hi on its continued development of the hi app and the hi protocol to drive positive impact for the broader Web3 ecosystem,” said Yat Siu, Animoca Brands Co-Founder and Executive Chairman.

Meanwhile, hi Co-Founder Sean Rach said the firm is proud to work closely with Animoca Brands, especially given its experience in backing some of the earliest and most prominent Web3 companies.

“By teaming up with Animoca Brands, we will be able to boost the adoption of hi products and services, helping to drive mass adoption for blockchain technology,” he said.

Hi is building user-friendly and functional app for crypto & fiat.

Combining the functionality of a crypto exchange with a next-generation digital banking platform, the firm provides members with an all-in-one service for savings, investments, payments, and lifestyle benefits.

Almost 3.5 million people from 190+ markets have signed up for hi and the hi App has been downloaded over 2 million times.

Animoca Brands is a firm involved in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification that is working to advance digital property rights and contribute to the establishment of the open metaverse.

The company develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including original games such as The Sandbox, Phantom Galaxies, Life Beyond, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes, and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Disney, WWE, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E.

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