After announcing its metaverse ambitions in late 2021 and releasing a beta version of it last year, South Korea has now launched the first stage of ‘Metaverse Seoul’, calling it the first city-backed public metaverse platform in the world.
The Asian giants hope to improve the country’s public services with this metaverse replica of its capital city as it looks to complete the virtual world in three years. At first, the Metaverse Seoul app only allowed citizens of South Korea to use their avatars to access things like youth counselling, e-books, answers to tax questions and small business support.
The second stage of Metaverse Seoul will launch next year and will expand to real estate and foreign investor services. The third stage, however, will allow citizens to utilise AI to manage municipal infrastructure with plans to introduce blockchain technologies including crypto.
Millions available in ‘digital new deal’
South Korea has long been expanding its metaverse initiatives as part of its “Digital New Deal” political initiative. It announced in early 2022 that it’ll set aside nearly $200 million to fund metaverse projects and give grants to various universities and companies to help them expand their technologies as well.
Behemoth companies in the country like Samsung, SK Telecom and Naver Corp. have taken steps to expand their businesses onto the metaverse. Similarly, Yoon Suk-yeol South Korean president has stated that developing the metaverse has become a national priority.
However, South Korea isn’t the only country that’s putting in a significant amount of money and investments in the metaverse. Dubai recently shared its metaverse strategy that will add 40,000 new jobs and boost its economy by $ 4 billion in the next five years. China also revealed its 12-Page plan that’ll see it say ahead in the metaverse.
As the nascent space continues to grow and expand across the world, the UAE took things to a whole new level by creating a metaverse HQ of its Ministry of Economy.