Metaverse, Web3 Are Reinventing The Internet, Bank Says

The metaverse, an immersive digital world that Facebook-owner Meta Platforms (FB), Microsoft (MSFT), Roblox (RBLX), Nvidia (NVDA) and others are stoking, has the potential to become a $13 trillion market opportunity, says a new report from Citi.




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The 184-page report explores numerous aspects of the metaverse, such as infrastructure, non-fungible tokens and gaming, as well as e-commerce and various business and consumer applications. Total metaverse users might reach 5 billion, said Citi, which released the report late Thursday.

“We believe the metaverse may be the next generation of the internet — combining the physical and digital world in a persistent and immersive manner — and not purely a virtual reality world,” said the Citi report, titled “Metaverse and Money.”

Citi’s analysis of the next generation of the internet includes a concept called Web3.

Web3 is described as an open version of the internet that gives users greater control over personal information. It also provides a method that gives users ownership over what they create, which they can also monetize. Many consider the metaverse and Web3 complementary concepts.

Web3 Makes Use Of Metaverse

Web3 can use all the technologies needed for the metaverse. It also makes extensive use of blockchain ledgers, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.

In October, Facebook announced its name change to Meta, setting a new direction for the social networking giant. But work on the metaverse among technology giants was already well underway.

In November, Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang said that the virtual world will be larger than the physical one, not in terms of scale, but in terms of economics.

“It is a 3D extension of the internet that is going to be much, much bigger than the 3D physical world that we enjoy today,” Huang said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live at the time.

Nvidia has a platform called Omniverse, an open-source tool that allows users to build virtual worlds, using artificial intelligence and 3D modeling.

A Massive Increase In Computation

But building the metaverse and Web3 requires a computational efficiency improvement of more than 1,000 times above today’s level, Citi said.

Cloud computing, edge computing, 5G wireless, gaming platforms and network infrastructure play a big role for the metaverse to achieve its potential, Citi said. Augmented reality and virtual reality gear will be a portal for entering the metaverse.

Use cases include commerce, art, media, advertising, health care and social collaboration, Citi added.

Goldman Sachs estimates that global investments in the metaverse and Web3 could exceed $100 billion. Meta invested $10 billion on the metaverse last year.

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs have published extensive reports on metaverse and Web3, with each seeing an $8 trillion economy.

Corporations Enter The Metaverse, Web3

The Web3 metaverse remains undefined and in the early stages of development. But enough of it has been developed that Walmart (WMT), Disney (DIS), Nike (NKE), Adidas, Samsung, McDonald’s (MCD) and a growing list of other brand-name companies are jumping into these virtual platforms.

Most Web3 platforms available today, such as Sandbox and Decentraland, are in the gaming field, where Roblox is expanding.

Also, Meta and Microsoft have been developing virtual workplaces where people can hold virtual meetings.

Facebook stock edged up 0.9% to 224.40, during afternoon trading on the stock market today. Microsoft dipped 0.3% to 307.50. Roblox fell 1.3% to 45.60 and Nvidia dropped 3.1% to 264.35.

Please follow Brian Deagon on Twitter at @IBD_BDeagon for more on tech stocks, analysis and financial markets.

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