Metaverse: The metaverse and its possibilities
You’ve probably heard of Metaverse, the decentralized open platform where anyone can create a virtual world with smart features, digital currencies, and digital tools. In recent months, this concept of digital development has become one of the most discussed topics, followed by many interesting strategic moves by all kinds of organizations. However, the biggest surprise was the countries that were the first to lead the government’s journey to innovation – Barbados and South Korea.
Barbados has entered the metaverse
Weeks ago, Barbados shared its intentions to become the first country in the metaverse, by creating its own virtual embassy. This information became public after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Barbados concluded a deal with Decentraland – a platform that allows every user to participate in and create a virtual world.
The goal of the island nation is to transfer some of its administrative services and processes to the digital world. In this way, everyone will be able to meet with government officials online, submit documents, requests, discuss cases, and more.
But what does that mean?
That’s for sure one major step towards merging the digital and real worlds into one. In addition, the action itself can be interpreted as serious refraction of the bureaucracy model.
This is not the first time Barbados has been an ambassador for change – in the last few years, the government has shown a positive attitude towards accepting cryptocurrency payments and even creating a cryptocurrency regulated by the Central Bank.
Gabriel Abed, Ambassador of Barbados, commented:
“Covid really shook the world. Who knows when the next pandemic or lockdown will come – we can’t afford not to try new technologies that can help us overcome these limitations. “
During his career, Mr. Abed has many times demonstrated his interest in the development of the country in terms of technology and new opportunities for development. He himself is the founder of banking innovation companies and the initiator of cooperation between traditional financial institutions and cryptocurrencies.
Since Barbados became the first republic with a virtual embassy, a number of issues are on the agenda:
- Who will regulate the metaverse?
- Will there be rules for virtual governance?
- How will cyber security be managed?
- Will other countries follow the example of Barbados?
- When will government policies for the metaverse be developed?
South Korea with a 5-year plan for the metaverse
Even more interesting is the plan of the Government of South Korea, which also supports the metaverse.
A 5-year plan for the development of the city of Seoul in the virtual space, known as the “Basic Plan for Metaverse Seoul”, was recently prepared. It sets 20 goals, divided into 7 sectors – economy, education, tourism, communication, city, administration, and infrastructure.
According to a press release, issued by the Government of South Korea, the Metaverse Seoul platform is to be soon established. Starting from 2022, it will be operating in three stages. Innovation will be applied in all administrative tasks – from economic policy development to submission of civil complaints in the virtual administration of the mayor.
The virtual space will maintain seven services in the economy, education, and tourism sector as early as 2022. 3.9 billion South Korean won (SKW) will be invested in the project, which is equivalent to over 3 million USD.
The virtual city will have:
- Accelerators for start-ups, virtual meetings with investors and consultations for companies that need to recover from the covid crisis
- Replicas of landmarks and digital tourism
- Festivals and events
- Digital University – lectures, mentoring
- Public services – complaints, consultations, requests, meetings
- City government with VR, AR, CR, accessible for people with disabilities
The investment potential of the metaverse
Barbados and South Korea are progressive, but the news doesn’t stop there.
In the last year alone, many global brands such as Hyundai, Gucci and Adidas have joined the virtual world. Other brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Sephora have made their first meta-step by developing their own NFT collections. We should not forget Oculus and Horizon, as part of Facebook’s key projects for the development of virtual reality. All of these ventures have enjoyed great investor interest since the announcement of Meta’s rebranding by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Significant growth is also observed in the virtual currency “MANA”, which plays the role of the means of payment in Decentraland. Today, it has a market capitalization of over $ 7 billion at a cost of about $ 4 and over 250% in less than 30 days. Against this background, the ROI of Decentraland currently exceeds 21400.0%.
Another interesting project called UFO Gaming has appeared on the market, focused on games that allow players to play and get paid for playing. UFO also has a staggering market capitalization of $ 1.2 billion, an increase of nearly 140% in one month.
It seems that the metaverse should be a priority for investors. This new ecosystem is evolving rapidly and so is the focus of many analyzes and investment evaluations. It is exciting to see what is yet to happen in the future of this new cyberspace.