- A March report published by Citigroup estimates the metaverse to be worth as high as $13 trillion by 2030.
- The global banking giant tips commerce, art, media, advertising, healthcare, and social collaboration markets to benefit alongside gaming.
- However, Citi said infrastructure development will be key to achieving the projected market value.
Citigroup says the metaverse could be worth up to $8 trillion by the year 2030. The global banking giant published a report called “Metaverse and Money: Decrypting the Future” which also estimates that up to five billion people will have used the metaverse within the next eight years.
“The total addressable market for the Metaverse could be between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030, with total Metaverse users numbering around five billion,” Citi wrote in the March report.
This comes after Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs’ previous reports that called the metaverse an $8 trillion opportunity. In December 2021, Bloomberg also issued its own report estimating the immersive virtual space of interconnected 3D worlds to be worth $800 billion by 2024.
It is a rather interesting situation that some of the world’s largest companies have managed to come up with almost identical projections of the metaverse opportunity. Yet to this date, albeit, barely seven months since Facebook rebranded to Meta Platforms, the market has not been able to come up with a universal definition of the metaverse.
In Citi’s report, the financial services company describes the metaverse as “partly a dream of what the future of the internet could be and partly a way to encapsulate the current trends in online infrastructure, including the growth of real-time 3D worlds.”
Although many see the metaverse only as a huge opportunity for gaming, Citi thinks there will be more industries involved to realise the full potential of the immersive world built on Web3.
Citi says infrastructure will be the key to kicking off things to a fast start, using the example of the content streaming segment of the metaverse, which it thinks will require a thousandfold increase in computational efficiency.
Thankfully, Meta Platforms seems to have anticipated this based on its gigantic AI supercomputer revealed in January. Set for completion this summer, Meta said its supercomputer will be the fastest in the world when fully deployed.
The banking giant has highlighted commerce, art, media, advertising, healthcare, and social collaboration alongside gaming as some of the top industries that will form the metaverse.
Although it is widely marketed as a Web3 product, Citi thinks there could be two versions of the metaverse. One that is centralised and built on Web2, like what Meta Platforms is looking to build, and another that is decentralised, managed by the community and built on Web3. It even goes o to suggest we could have metaverse worlds built on a hybrid of the two iterations of the internet.
The report also said that cryptocurrencies will continue to play a crucial part in the ecosystem, but added that they will have to co-exist with other currencies like Fiat.
“Different forms of cryptocurrency are expected to dominate, but given the multi-chain trend in the crypto ecosystem, cryptocurrency will likely coexist with fiat currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and stablecoins.”
As a result, some of the largest metaverse ecosystems may need to be regulated, thus paving way for the regulation of digital assets. The report also pointed to the pressing issue of addressing digital property rights amid rising lawsuit cases involving real-life brands and digital creators.
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