South Korean Government Plans Metaverse Ecosystem
- South Korean government plans $195m investment in the Metaverse.
- K-Pop and Korean film have also entered the Metaverse.
- Regulatory scrutiny lingers due to a rise in illegal activity, however.
Metaverse chatter and interest have surged through the early part of the year. The interest has been widespread, with fashion, fast food, music, sport, and even governments exploring the Metaverse.
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT Plan Metaverse Ecosystem
Last week, news hit the wires of the South Korean government planning a KRW223.7bn ($195m) Metaverse investment.
The Ministry of Science and ICT will build the country’s Metaverse ecosystem to drive talent, develop an innovative decentralized environment, and support VR/AR development.
Last month, the ministry announced a 5-year plan to become a leading Metaverse nation. South Korean companies, celebrities, and investments have supported the rapid development of the ecosystem to date.
Key South Korean Metaverse Initiatives
Leading tech giant Samsung announced the launch of its very own virtual store in January. The company opened a virtual version of its 837 physical stores in Decentraland (MANA).
Other noteworthy forays into the Metaverse have included K-Pop and Korean drama (Hallyu). In January, Animal Concerts (U.S Metaverse concert organizer) and South Korea’s Klatyn blockchain announced a partnership to deliver music concerts to the Metaverse.
BTS’s 2020 pay-per-view virtual concert Bang Bang Con The Live reportedly drew 756,000 global viewers to rake in $20m.
Binance exchange has also taken a greater interest in South Korean Hallyu, NFTs, and the Metaverse. Last week, Binance announced a ‘strategic partnership with SM Brand Marketing.’
Binance and SM Brand Marketing plan to establish a global Play-to-Create (P2C) ecosystem. P2C will enable users to recreate content and products in the forms of games, music, dance, and goods, which are convertible into NFTs.
In February, Binance also announced a strategic partnership with YG Entertainment. Binance and YG Entertainment aim to develop Metaverse, NFT, and gaming opportunities.
Amidst rising interest in the Metaverse, illicit activity has also been on the rise. In late January, the South Korean government took steps to make operators accountable for illegal activity. The move came in response to news of sexual harassment in the Metaverse.
China Explores the Metaverse Despite Metaverse Misgivings
China’s Wuhan City joined a growing list of Chinese cities and provinces with Metaverse plans in January.
The move to develop a Metaverse is to support the economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, Shanghai released its 5-year development plan that included “Metaverse use in public areas, business offices, and other areas.”
While governments raise concerns, there is an evident move to bring the Metaverse to citizens. Government interest would push Metaverse land prices further northwards.