The billed future iteration of the internet, Metaverse is becoming real as the days come by as the Seoul Metropolitan Government, South Korea has taken a step towards the mass adoption of a virtual world. According to a Forkast report on Monday, South Korea is bringing the city of Seoul to the metaverse by launching a virtual replication of the capital city called Metaverse Seoul. In what can be branded a first of its kind, the Metaverse Seoul will offer administrative public policies via the virtual platform.
Recall that a recent report projected the size of the metaverse market to reach $4-5 trillion by 2030 if mass adoption continues. At the moment, the market capitalisation of metaverse tokens is $12.3 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
In view of these juicy future projections, it’s looking like South Korea is positioning itself to play a prominent role in the purported future of the internet.
More details on the Metaverse Seoul
The world’s first city-backed metaverse project is estimated to be completed by 2026. The first phase of Metaverse Seoul, which reportedly cost $1.6 million/2 billion won to develop, will focus on allowing citizens to explore the platform with avatars to get their tax questions answered, read e-books, access youth counseling, an app to issue proof of citizenship and offer support to struggling businesses among other services.
The second stage of Metaverse Seoul, forecast for 2024, will offer real estate counseling and will supply a hub for foreign investors looking to invest in local businesses. The third and last stage of Metaverse Seoul, due in 2026, will be the completion of a public metaverse that will combine virtual and augmented reality to offer an experience that will enable citizens to interact with the city’s infrastructure. The project also plans to introduce blockchain technologies including cryptocurrency.
According to the Mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-hoon:
“Metaverse Seoul will be an important communication tool for citizens in the new normal. It is an inclusive administrative service that everyone can take advantage of without any time and space obstacles.”
Notably, South Korea has always been expanding its metaverse initiatives as a part of its “Digital New Deal” political initiative. Recall that in February 2022, the nation announced plans to earmark about $200 million to fund metaverse projects, giving out grants to universities and companies to help expand their technologies.
Additionally, in September 2022, the city of Seongnam in South Korea announced plans to provide citizens with access to municipal information and services using NFT identification.
Other cities that have embraced the metaverse
Quite a number of metropolises are now making substantial investments in the metaverse. Recall that in October, Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, laid out the country’s plans to invest in non-fungible tokens and metaverse services.
Also, in November 2022, Tuvalu, a volcanic archipelago made up of nine islands situated halfway between Hawaii and Australia, announced plans to become the world’s first digital nation in an effort to preserve their land and culture as rising sea levels threaten to swallow the island nation.
With a population of around 12,000, Tuvalu decided to preserve its history and culture because rising sea levels might eventually submerge the entire island. According to Simon Kofe, the Foreign Minister of Tuvalu at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt:
“Our land, our ocean, our culture are the most precious assets of our people, and to keep them safe from harm, no matter what happens in the physical world, we will move them to the cloud,”
Having one of the fastest internet connectivity speeds in the world, South Korea has embraced the emerging virtual universe well. Before the FTX implosion, there were reports that the country was looking at collaborating with Sam Bankman-Fried’s company in order to build a city crypto exchange. However, nothing has been heard recently due to the FTX debacle in November 2022.
With this new development (Metaverse Seoul), South Korea is projected to be at the forefront of innovation in the metaverse and blockchain space. It will continue to play a prominent part in this futuristic world.
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