South Korea’s National Metaverse Project Bags KRW 223.7 Billion in Government Funding


South Korea is planning a fully functional metaverse ecosystem aimed at supporting digital worlds of corporate and content in the country. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of South Korea has allocated KRW 223.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,400 crore) towards the development of this national metaverse project. The metaverse is a virtual world, where people can work and socialise as digital avatars. The sector has been stirring major intrigue among many nations and companies of late.

The platform will be supported by other decentralised sectors like cryptocurrency, and will focus on nurturing the creator economy, government authorities of South Korea said on February 27.

“The Ministry of Science and ICT through the ‘Expanded Virtual World New Industry Leading Strategy’ aims to creating a sustainable and expanded virtual world ecosystem based on public-private partnerships. Focus also on inter-company collaboration, technology development, and regulatory innovation so that domestic companies can compete with global companies,” said the South Korean ministry.

The government will be hosting creative activities, a metaverse developer contest, as well as a hackathon to select the best team to be part of this project.

Cryptocurrencies make for an integral part of the metaverse as they allow us to calculate the value of digital assets in fiat currency and their returns over time.

Along with cryptocurrency, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have also been making quite the noise in South Korea. NFTs are blockchain-based digital collectibles inspired by literally anything — from music to sports achievements.

In January, Lee Jae-myung, the presidential candidate from South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party of Korea disclosed plans of issuing NFTs to his supporters who donate their money to his election campaign.

In November 2021, South Korean brand GS Shop, operated by GS Retail, introduced a TV home shopping broadcast using metaverse.

On November 10, the South Korean military reportedly announced that it would phase in metaverse applications to soldier training programmes by the 2030s.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has also announced plans of making Seoul the first South Korean city to enter the metaverse.

Research reports expect the market opportunity for the metaverse to reach $800 billion (roughly Rs. 59,58,719 crore) by 2024.

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