Tether Co-Founder Says There’s Money in NFTs for Metaverse


William Quigley, who co-founded stablecoin Tether (USDT), thinks non-fungible tokens (NFTs) accessible in metaverses will hit annual sales above $10 trillion. He shared his thoughts about NFTs and metaverse with Bloomberg in an interview over the week.

When asked about the lush, blossoming NFT fields of 2021, Quigley said his sights are set on the mass market possibilities of the non-fungible blockchain technology:

“From a consumer-product standpoint, what’s interesting to me is not one NFT selling for $1 million, but a million NFTs being sold at $1 each. A brand-new business for digital collectibles. That seems to me to have longer legs and overall a bigger market.”

Quigley has some experience with NFTs himself. In addition to starting Tether, he started Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX), a proof-of-stake blockchain specializing in non-fungible tokens, among other areas of development.

NFTs a $10 Trillion Market in Metaverse Alone, Tether Founder

He believes the annual revenue from sales of NFTs accessible in metaverses will be worth at least $10 trillion, telling Bloomberg he expects the market to be “orders of magnitude” larger than the current landscape for virtual items in video games:

“In video gaming the revenue model now is virtual items, and that’s a $175 billion business annually. I think the metaverse should be orders of magnitude more than that because it’s everything, it’s not just gaming.”

Think of the metaverse as a mesh of intelligibly networked virtual environments and enhancements to real-world spaces via augmented reality and the Internet of Things.

Facebook is building a native metaverse integrated with its other products, where co-workers who live in different time zones could use virtual reality to attend meetings and sit across from each other in a virtual city.

Meanwhile, Apple has its eye on augmented reality. CEO Tim Cook has tirelessly boosted the technology and its possibilities and says it’s an opportunity worth as much to the computer company as iPhone.

Metaverse Will be Filled with Unique Digital Items

This metaverse of digital capability spilling over into reality and drawing us into the virtual space will not be a bland user environment with standard apps and capabilities.

Instead, as a recent Reuters report envisions it, metaverse will be richly populated by the users with unique programmable tokens powered by the blockchain.

Quigley says:

“When it happens, it really is hard to imagine and hard to overstate the impact. I’m betting that the revenue model for the metaverse is going to be NFTs.”

In the metaverse, digital property rights, market facilities, and governance will not be enforced and supported by lawyers in conspiracy with armed enforcers as every society in history has developed hitherto.

Instead, these bulwarks of civilization will be assured by consensual participation in decentralized software protocols intelligently engineered to serve in the background as a vital utility with the broadest usefulness for developers to serve metaverse denizens.

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