One of the world’s largest financial institutions, Citi has released a new report in which it predicts that by 2030 over 60% of the global population could have entered the metaverse.

In the report called “Metaverse and Money – Decrypting the Future”, the multinational corporation estimates the metaverse’s total addressable market to grow to between $8 trillion and $13 trillion within the next eight years.

“The Metaverse as a concept has been around for a few decades. However, interest in the virtual world spiked at the end of 2021 following a rise in sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well as announcements from Big Tech players indicating their interest and investment in the space,” the report kicks off.

Citi adds:

“Today, the most popular way to experience the metaverse is via a video game played on a virtual reality (VR) headset. But in the report that follows, we discuss the possibility that the metaverse is moving towards becoming the next iteration of the internet, or Web3. This ‘Open Metaverse’ would be community-owned, community-governed, and a freely interoperable version that ensures privacy by design.

Users should increasingly be able to access a host of use cases, including commerce, art, media, advertising, healthcare, and social collaboration. A device-agnostic metaverse would be accessible via personal computers, game consoles, and smartphones, resulting in a large ecosystem.”

To meet expectations and reach the 5 billion potential users in the next year, the metaverse will need a significant infrastructure upgrade, the banking giant stresses:

“The content streaming environment of the metaverse will likely require a computational efficiency improvement of over 1,000x today’s levels. Investment will be needed in areas such as compute, storage, network infrastructure, consumer hardware, and game development platforms.”

The 184-pages long report concludes with the following key takeaways:

On Currency:

“The definition of what counts as money in the Open Metaverse is likely to be very different from today. We expect different forms of cryptocurrency to dominate, but to coexist with fiat currencies, CBDCs, and stablecoins.”

On Infrastructure:

“The next generation of internet driving immersive applications needs to improve significantly in two key areas —– bandwidth and latency.”

On Social Change:

“Physical location may be less important in the future. Watching your favorite band perform live from another country in a virtual concert, runway fashion shows in your living room, and catching the latest art exhibit at your favorite museum could all be available in the Metaverse.”

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