How Megabanks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Are Talking About the Metaverse

  • Morgan Stanley sees the metaverse as an $8 trillion market
  • Goldman Sachs said blockchain is one of the most “disruptive technologies” since the 1990s

Morgan Stanley, the Wall Street giant that manages $6.4 trillion in assets, said the metaverse will be “the next big investment theme” in a note to clients last month. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs then described blockchain as being key to Web3 development in a report. 

More and more behemoth financial institutions are addressing the metaverse to clients and investors. 

“[The metaverse] can fundamentally change the medium through which we socialize with others,” Edward Stanley, an Equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, said. 

Stanley added that certain stocks in gaming and tech sectors such as Roblox and Meta (formerly Facebook), along with those concentrated on augmented reality like Alphabet Inc., can benefit from growing adoption of the concept as well. 

Goldman Sachs sees blockchain as one of the most “disruptive technologies” in the past several decades, including the advent of the internet. 

“We believe that the metaverse is likely to be an amalgamation of different 3D spaces and that users will move between these regularly,” Rod Hall, an analyst for Goldman Sachs, said. “If any virtual goods or services are unable to move from one space to another with the user, we believe their value is likely to be more limited.”

Atomic Form co-founder Garrette David described the banks’ reports as “a huge positive,” adding it signals further adoption by institutions who have been historically skeptical of cryptocurrency as an asset class at all.

“Given the speed at which they’re reporting it, I would say we are definitely mainstream. It took banks years to publicly sell interests in, or comment on, economics behind public networks and blockchains,” David said, who runs a startup that develops non-fungible token displays and a Web3 platform.

According to Goldman, it will take “many years” and “cross-company collaboration” to seamlessly onboard millions of users into the virtual augmented world. 

“Investment implications are hard to predict at this juncture, but companies who are dependent on centralized control of user identity will likely find their business models challenged by the adoption of blockchain,” Goldman said.

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  • Morgan Chittum

    Morgan Chittum is a New York-based reporter covering markets, NFTs, the metaverse and digital assets. Before Blockworks she was a street reporter at New York Daily News, where she wrote about homicide, extremist groups, state politics and other critical topics in New York. She was a Media and Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute, where she dabbled in data and investigative journalism. She is published in American Banker, Yahoo News, Chicago Tribune and more.

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