Cathie Wood, the Ark Invest founder and CEO, thinks the metaverse is a multitrillion-dollar opportunity that will affect every aspect of the economy in the coming years.

“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 told Sara Eisen in a CNBC Pro Talk.

The metaverse is a virtual world that incorporates augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holographic avatars, video and other means of communication. It offers a hyper-real alternative world, where avatars can play games, work, etc. At the moment, it is extensively used in games such as Fortnite and Roblox. In some worlds, people can earn cryptocurrency and trade crypto-collectibles known as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. In The Sandbox metaverse, a parcel of land just sold for $4.3 million.

The latest mega deal is the sale of a mega yacht called Metaflower in the Sandbox metaverse for a staggering $6,50,000 (about Rs 4.8 crore). The sale is the most expensive NFT deal in the Sandbox metaverse, a virtual world built on the ethereum blockchain.

In a brand name change Facebook has *renamed itself Meta* in its bid to stay relevant and hip and announce its focus on the virtual world. Wood thinks that the metaverse is ready to become a multitrillion-dollar market. She added: “We’re going to have our digital twins, and it’s going to enable a lot of fun and a lot of efficiencies.”

Ark Invest Cathie Wood

Cathie Wood is the founder of the $60 billion (assets) ARK Invest started in 2014.

The investor believes that the metaverse will move away from its gaming focus and expand into other uses. She gave the example of Trimble, which is involved in making 3D virtual real maps, stimulating environments. This is highly useful for industries such as mining and utilities. “I think this is much more than just a consumer idea,” she said.

Cathie Wood is the founder of the $60 billion (assets) ARK Invest started in 2014, which invests in innovations like self-driving cars and genomics. Wood is one of the biggest boosters of Elon Musk’s Tesla. She predicts the electric car company will someday be valued at over $3 trillion.

Ark Invest’s Innovation ETF rose more than 140% in 2020, when tech stocks soared.

However, 2021 has not been as lucrative for Woods. The Ark Innovation ETF is down around 20% for the year, while the Ark Genomic Revolution ETF is down more than 35%.

Some other investors are not very taken up with the idea of metaverse. They point out that virtual reality games with excellent graphics and real-world environments have existed for years, including holographic (avatars), so it is not something new or revolutionary.

Raj Gokal, co-founder of cryptocurrency network Solana said in a tweet recently: “I worry that the metaverse is overhyped (industry-wide). I haven’t seen this much hype in mainstream media over an unreleased product or category of products, maybe ever.”

A mega yacht sale and thriving virtual real estate sales are realities. The metaverse has created a new universe of possibilities for brands, industries and influencers to expand their outreach and enhance consumer interactions.

Added to this is the booming world of cryptocurrencies, which seems to be the perfect medium of exchange for transactions in this virtual world.