Yat Siu, the cofounder and chairman of Animoca Brands, believes the transition to Web3, the next generation of the internet, will happen sooner than many people think.

“Within the next 18 months or so, we expect hundreds of millions of new entrants into the open metaverse because the quality of open metaverse products, such as new and higher quality blockchain games, will have launched, and will attract a new wave of people joining the space,” Siu said.

Siu was giving a keynote interview at the Urban Land Institute’s Asia Pacific Summit on Wednesday. He pointed to the 3.2 billion people who play video games on a regular basis, which he says are already operating in an “enclosed metaverses.” The people playing those games have created virtual identities and acquired digital goods that many players think they own, but in reality they don’t. The gaming industry is effectively renting out those virtual goods to its players.