Web 3.0 has received a shot in the arm due to the rise of the metaverse. While artists, brands, and celebrities have thrived so far in virtual reality, it is the turn of governments now. Let us know how policymakers and political parties are showing interest.
The South Korean government will invest $177 million in different metaverse projects. It views the opportunity as an uncharted digital continent possessing indefinite potential. Besides that, the East Asian country aims to make citizens transition to a digital society powered by virtual reality. Seoul, the capital of South Korea will also offer public services in the metaverse. It includes municipal administration aspects related to culture, economy, education, and tourism.
As part of the Digital New Deal program, South Korea is betting big on projects that use emerging technologies like virtual reality. The 3.9 billion Won project will also involve the development of a virtual mayor office, a state-of-the-art fintech lab, a virtual general civil service office, and virtual tourism special zones.
The Asian country made its intentions for the metaverse and virtual reality clear after changing the capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan (Nusantara). This will enable citizens to directly engage with government officials. More focus will be on promoting micro, small, and medium-sized businesses involved in agriculture, mining, handicrafts, and food.
The Jakarta government has also teamed up with the WIR Group for creating a metaverse powered by Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Digital transformation will revamp the functioning of the public service sector.
Moreover, the National Capital City (IKN) will be created in the form of a metaverse where there is an interconnection of virtual worlds. Indonesia’s Ministry of Home Affairs also came out with Kovi Otda, a metaverse-based virtual consultation service for regional governments and officials.
The Chinese metaverse industry will be worth $50 billion by 2025. It views the trend as the next generation of the Internet. The China Mobile and Communications Association (CMCA) has created the Metaverse Industry Committee to bolster the growth of the digital economy.
Government officials of Shanghai believe that the metaverse can be used in public services, manufacturing, and entertainment. It will act as an intersection between the virtual and real worlds. Cities like Wuhan, Anhui, and Zhejiang are also actively building the metaverse. Going forward, China will lay down guidelines for data security and speculation.
Beijing, the capital of China will establish a Communist training college in the metaverse. Moreover, the educational institution will host conferences, meetings, history lectures, and offer courses.
Interestingly, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has received a whopping 16,000 trademark applications related to the metaverse. The Chinese Academy of Governance will train government officials in the metaverse. Participants will use virtual avatars, attend party conferences, and historical lessons, and examine relics in 3D.
The 2nd most populated country will look to build a citizen-centric metaverse with a primary focus on e-governance. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) came out with the National Blockchain Strategy in December 2021. It will set up a uniform framework and balance the interests of participants like application developers, service providers, and technology stack builders.
Importantly, India will also launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) this year. This will ensure financial stability and the efficient functioning of payment systems. The digital rupee will pose a tough challenge to private cryptocurrencies.
How are European countries embracing the growth of the metaverse?
The European Union (EU) views the metaverse as a futuristic digital world and will come out with comprehensive regulations. The top 5 countries showing high interest in the metaverse are France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Belgium.
French President Emmanuel Macron attracted voters by creating a Minecraft server as part of his reelection campaign. Macronverse includes a town square, a billboard, and cafes. There is also a voter registration portal and a real-life merchandise store.
Germany is a highly crypto-friendly country. Further, it does not levy any tax on long-term capital gains. Berlin is becoming the hub for blockchain and Defi startups. Germany also passed the Fund Location Act in July 2021. Hence, institutional funds can invest up to 20% of their assets in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Sweden is introducing E-Krona for smart payments. In the long run, the European country will become a cashless economy and there will be a decrease in the usage of physical bills, coins, and notes. Citizens can directly purchase the digital currency from the official website of the central bank, Riksbank.
Amidst intense debate between centralization and decentralization, governments are expected to progressively regulate the metaverse. Hence, friendly policing will help in taking advantage of the valuable opportunities offered by the persistent virtual space.