Investing in the metaverse has always been thought of as something done by VC firms and companies. However, South Korea has announced that it will be directly investing in metaverse-related companies and initiatives.
Lim Hyesook, South Korea’s minister of science and information and communication technologies, announced the investment, which would total $177.1 million to jumpstart the national industry. He described the metaverse as an uncharted digital continent with limitless potential, demonstrating the possibilities the South Korean government sees in this new technology.
Why is South Korea getting into the metaverse?
While a number of corporations and firms have already begun to invest in the metaverse, few nations have done so directly. This is largely due to the fact that numerous regulatory issues surrounding metaverse enterprises’ operations and the convergence of Web3 technologies, which can contain a cryptocurrency component, remain unsolved.
The metaverse and crypto experiment, according to Javier Floren, CEO of NFT firm DNAverse, will be heavily affected by regulation.
“It’s going to depend on how different countries approach the legal side. With any new technology or disruptive ecosystem and new places to interact, there will be issues, challenges, and for sure dangers.”
However, because South Korea is aggressively investing in the metaverse, other countries may follow suit. Yugal Joshi, a partner at Everest Group, informed CNBC about this possibility. He said,
“Some things are happening in bits and pieces but I believe this does tell you that governments are starting to take this more seriously because it’s a platform where people come together. Anything which makes people come together, it makes governments interested.”
Other Asian governments are taking note as well. Shanghai’s government has pushed for public services to be designed with the metaverse in mind. Joshi went on to say that metaverse activity in Asia, like the rest of the globe, is still in its early stages, with enterprises putting time and money into developing the first significant winning application.
Despite the increased interest and South Korea’s aspirations, no obvious first-mover advantage has arisen.