Cathie Wood says the metaverse could be worth trillions and will affect the world in ways ‘we cannot even imagine right now’

The metaverse might still be in the early stages of development, but investor Cathie Wood says it will influence every corner of the economy. 

CNBC Pro asked the big-name founder and CEO of Ark Invest on Wednesday if she agreed the metaverse could be a multi trillion-dollar opportunity, and she said that would rise to that level, and push far beyond “gaming and consumer goods,” according to Markets Insider

“We’re going to have our digital twins, and it’s going to enable a lot of fun and a lot of efficiencies,” Wood said.

“It’s a big idea that will probably infiltrate – just like technology is, anyway – every sector in ways that we cannot even imagine right now,” she added.

Wood’s fund performed very well in 2020, thanks to stocks like Tesla, though it did sink about 7% on Friday, according to Business Insider. 

While the metaverse is most well known for virtual gaming through online worlds like Fortnite or Roblox. But it is relatively new to mainstream culture, largely undefined, and has the potential to redefine how we assign value. This week, a piece of digital “land” was sold for $4.3 million. The virtual land, once owned by video game holding company Atari SA, now belongs to metaverse real estate investor Republic Realm. Last week, another piece of digital real estate sold for $2.4 million. The buyer, Metaverse Group, said they intended to use it to break into digital fashion, according to Markets Insider

It would be shortsighted to think the metaverse ends with gaming, and Wood nodded to Trimble, which uses field data to create digital environments for global industries, to prove her point that the metaverse can have an all-encompassing impact. Wood likened the metaverse to the unpredictable yet rapid development of technology. 

Wood is not alone in her prediction that the metaverse could prove to be lucrative across multiple sectors. 

This week, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said the metaverse could be a multitrillion-dollar opportunity

“Over the coming decades, the metaverse has the potential to become a multitrillion-dollar part of the world economy,” said Sweeney, Bloomberg reported

Grayscale, a crypto fund, released a report in November acknowledging that while the metaverse is at a very early stage, it could be the future of the internet. 

“The market opportunity for bringing the Metaverse to life may be worth over $1 trillion in annual revenue and may compete with Web 2.0 companies worth ~$15 trillion in market value today,” the Grayscale report notes. 
 It noted Facebook’s name-change to Meta as a sign that Web 2.0 recognizes the value in involving themselves in the metaverse.

Fortune’s upcoming Brainstorm Design conference is going to dive into how businesses are building experiences in the metaverse. Apply to attend the event on May 23-24 in New York.

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