South Korea to invest $187M in national metaverse project
The government will provide $186.7 million to stimulate the growth of a metaverse platform that it hopes businesses and industries will thrive in.
South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning pledged 223.7 billion Korean won ($186.7 million) to create a broad metaverse ecosystem to support the growth of digital content and corporate growth within the country.
The ministry wrote in an official statement on Sunday that funds will be spent on completing four main objectives in creating what appears to be an all-encompassing metaverse ecosystem titled the “Expanded Virtual World.”
The government agency intends on using its metaverse as a platform for expanding the virtual industrial growth of cities, education and media.
Content creators will enjoy support on multiple fronts to attract the right talent to help build the platform. The ministry said that it will host community-oriented creative activities, a metaverse developer contest and a hackathon.
Hashed CEO Simon Kim pointed out that the new metaverse platform has a particular focus on boosting commercial expansion by providing financial support for participants. He told Cointelegraph on Monday that he doesn’t think there is a problem with the government providing funding because “the private sector is actively investing in the metaverse market.” He continued:
“It is the regulatory issue that the government should pay more attention to. In Korea, publishing of NFT games is prohibited, and token issuance is also prohibited.”
Hashed is a South Korean crypto ecosystem venture capital and incubator. It has invested in metaverse projects such as Decentraland and The Sandbox.
Park Yungyu, head of communication and policy department at the ministry, stated in the announcement that this initiative to build a metaverse platform is part of the broader “Digital New Deal” in South Korea. The Digital New Deal is a set of policies designed to foster the growth of digital technologies according to Park, who added:
“It is important to create a world-class metaverse ecosystem as the starting point to intensively foster a new hyper-connected industry.”
The ministry also expects its metaverse to have a global reach since there will be seamless access to South Korean companies over time. It plans on providing support for corporate growth by offering financial support and technological development.
Jason Ye, co-founder of multichain ecosystem accelerator DeSpread, is calling the new funding a “positive signal” that the Korean government is interested in the metaverse. He told Cointelegraph on Monday that due to the funding involved, opportunists who attempt to exploit it “should be filtered out” but that:
“Outstanding companies building a digital economy in the metaverse will be able to thrive with the Korean government’s support.”
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Seoul’s municipal government has also been exploring its options regarding a public metaverse space since last year. Last November, tentative plans for a “Metaverse 120 Center” were announced.