Citi is the latest banking giant to give an optimistic forecast for the metaverse, which envisions the future of the Internet as a collection of decentralized technology and virtual environments.
According to the New York-based global investment bank, the metaverse economy could be worth up to $13 trillion by 2030.
While some remain suspicious of the metaverse, the Wall Street player says he sees huge potential in the concept of augmented reality.
According to the Citi analysis, the metaverse is currently mainly defined as an immersive mix of online gaming platforms that rely heavily on interactive 3D play with others or offline augmented reality.
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However, this will change in the coming years. The multinational lender expects the metaverse’s user base to grow to as much as 5 billion.
Citi Metaverse Concept Includes Gaming
Citi’s understanding of the metaverse extends beyond gaming and virtual reality applications. His comprehensive vision encompasses smart manufacturing technology, virtual advertising, online events such as concerts and digital currencies such as bitcoin.
However, Citi noted that it will take time, as the metaverse’s content streaming environment is likely to require “computational efficiency gains in excess of 1,000x the current level.”
According to the bank’s report:
“We believe the Metaverse is the next generation of the Internet, fusing the physical and digital worlds in a sustained and immersive way, rather than being a purely virtual reality environment.”
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The report states that the figure of 5 billion is an estimate. It includes a mobile phone user base, and if the metaverse is limited to VR/AR devices, it projects an audience closer to 1 billion.
Lots of work to do
Citi stated that achieving the bank’s vision of a “Brave New Meta World” by 2030 will require significant investment and technological improvements.
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Citi’s 184 page report delves deep into many facets of the metaverse.
They include a definition of the virtual realm, its infrastructure, cryptoassets such as NFTs, money and DeFi, as well as regulatory changes affecting the virtual world.
Other Wall Street players are bullish
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs estimated the sector’s value at $12.5 trillion in a December report, based on a bullish scenario where 70% of the digital economy spins to the metaverse and then doubles in size.
Morgan Stanley, another prominent investment firm, expected the same figure for the metaverse in November last year.
Bank of America, on the other hand, pointed out that the metaverse presents a major opportunity for the entire crypto industry.
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