According to Forkast on Monday, South Korea is bringing Seoul to the metaverse by releasing a virtual version of the city with the aim of enhancing its public services.
The virtual environment, known as Metaverse Seoul, is anticipated to be finished by 2026. In the first phase, users are invited to utilize avatars to read e-books, get youth counseling, obtain assistance for small enterprises, and get answers to their tax-related problems.
Future iterations of the virtual world will incorporate augmented reality to manage municipal infrastructure, as well as real estate and services for international investors. Additionally, it intends to promote bitcoin and blockchain technologies.
As part of its “Digital New Deal” political push, South Korea has been extending its metaverse activities. The country announced intentions to set aside roughly $200 million in February 2022 for initiatives involving the metaverse, awarding grants to organizations and institutions to further their innovations. A test of CBDCs reportedly ended in November 2022 at the Bank of Korea.
Not just South Korea is making substantial investments in the metaverse. Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, outlined the nation’s ambitions to invest in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverse services in October.
Billion to be spent for Seoul’s Metaverse
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced the launch of the first phase of Metaverse Seoul following beta testing of the project. Approximately 2 billion won ($1.6 million) or the first phase of the metaverse project was reportedly spent by the city administration.
Oh claims that the second phase will focus on facilitating older residents’ access to Metaverse Seoul, as they might have difficulty physically traveling to city offices. According to Statistica data, more than 17% of South Korea’s population was over 65 as of 2022.