William Quigley, co-founder of stablecoin Tether and a pioneer in the cryptocurrency space, sees the metaverse as a huge economic force that will dramatically change people’s lives in the years to come.
Quigley is a co-founder of Worldwide Asset eXchange or WAX, a carbon neutral proof-of-stake blockchain that specializes in areas such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and video games. The metaverse, a vision of an internet-enabled virtual world where people have avatars and interact with digital assets and even bodily objects with augmented reality, is developing rapidly as blockchain technology evolves.
Quigley spoke to Bloomberg News about NFTs, the Metaverse and more in an interview on Thursday. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.
What do you think of the growth of NFTs?
The entire market is determined by the value of Ethereum, which as of March 2020 was less than $ 100. Now it’s $ 3,500. It’s like everyone just got their annual salary, it was in their pocket and they had just arrived in Vegas. They will waste some of their money.
But make no mistake about it. It is not a mass phenomenon. I suspect there aren’t many traditional art buyers who have ditched the Rembrandt and are buying Crypto Punk. I think it’s mostly crypto rich.
From a consumer product perspective, what interests me is not an NFT sold for $ 1 million, but a million NFTs sold for $ 1 apiece. A whole new company for digital collectibles. Seems to me to have longer legs and overall a bigger market.
And the metaverse?
When we are able to have a digital overlay of our reality, it will be a massive shift in business models, a massive shift in the way we interact with each other and with the world.
When that happens, it’s really hard to imagine and overstate the impact. I bet the revenue model for the Metaverse will be NFTs.
In video games, the revenue model now is virtual items, and it’s a $ 175 billion a year business. I think the Metaverse should be orders of magnitude larger than that because that’s it, it’s not just the game.
Some of the best altcoins have skyrocketed recently. Any ideas on that?
So something has been creeping in for a while. And then for reasons I never understand, the attention gets focused on it and all of a sudden people pile in. This is the speculative aspect of it all.
I’ve been doing this for a long time. Doing fundamental analysis on something like this is very, very difficult – because there is no real reason. It’s part of the times. And people are excited about it, and it’s going up.
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