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Kraken CEO on what metaverse means for NFTs, gaming, and crypto

·Writer
·2 min read
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With major tech players like Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) staking their claims to the metaverse, its technology has seen a meteoric rise into the mainstream consciousness. According to Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, the advent of metaverse platforms could have significant implications for cryptocurrencies, NFTs, gaming, and more.

Powell likened the metaverse to existing virtual universes found in popular online video games such as Second Life, World of Warcraft, and Runescape.

“People grew up playing these games and I think that this new stage of the metaverse where you have these goods, these virtual tokens, or these clothing or whatever it is [that] you can take between these different platforms, I think is what people are really excited about now,” Powell told Yahoo Finance.

However, he stated that iterations of metaverses have and continue to exist and be used every day.

“We've seen various versions of metaverse over time,” Powell said. “I mean, you could even look at Fortnite as a metaverse — Roblox (RBLX), Minecraft, Second Life as sort of one of the very first iterations of this. And these are all successful to different degrees and for different purposes and different niche audiences, so I think people are making it out to be something more than it is.”

Metaverse digital cyber world technology, man with virtual reality VR goggle playing AR augmented reality game and entertainment, futuristic lifestyle
Metaverse digital cyber world technology, man with virtual reality VR goggle playing AR augmented reality game and entertainment, futuristic lifestyle

Powell joined Yahoo Finance in an interview with Decrypt Executive Editor Jeff Roberts as part of the Yahoo Finance/Decrypt: Crypto Goes Mainstream summit. The summit featured live conversations with some of the biggest names in crypto to talk investing, mass adoption, NFT collecting, and how to get started.

As for the NFT space, Powell commented on how unexpected the success of NFTs over the past year was. He attributed it to the rapid mainstream adoption of projects such as NBA Top Shot and CryptoPunks.

According to Powell, the rising popularity of NFTs is likely derived from younger generations’ familiarity with digital stores of value, like virtual clothes and gear for an online avatar. With the advent of the metaverse and the possibility of many decentralized metaverses, he believes that being able to take digital assets between different platforms, leveraging blockchain capabilities, is what the NFT space will be looking to next.

“I don't think there'll be any single metaverse,” Powell said. “And I think it's the same for Facebook, another kind of proprietary platform where I think they'll support these blockchain assets and some representation of them in their world, and they'll all have different rules. And I don't think anyone's going to have a monopoly on this.”

Thomas Hum is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV

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