Catalonia, an autonomous region in northeastern Spain, is the latest government to launch a Metaverse project, it was announced on Monday.
The Catalan Blockchain Centre (CBCat) has launched the CatVers, an immersive, open-source virtual environment backed by the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce with roughly €10,000 to €20,000.
👥 @girona_cat dóna suport en el foment del nou metavers català CatVers
— Girona FM (@gironafmcat) January 11, 2022
Organisations have begun holding meetings in the new Metaverse space, and the Catalan government plans to also host art exhibitions, festivals, and other group activities over the next few months.
CBCat also has additional plans to build Metaverse campuses for Catalan universities using decentralised governance models led by registered groups, it stated.
Comments on the CatVers
Quirze Salomó, President of the CBCat, explained at a launch for the new platform Metaverses were a “3D virtual reality world” that merged digital technologies to create immersive experiences.
Speaking on CatVers, he added CBCat would offer “affordable” subscription rates after two months of free access, adding there would be a “very high possibility” of launching a sovereign cryptocurrency to “monetise the assets” for the digital project.
According to the CBCat official, Metaverses would become common in three years and ubiquitous after five years’ time. He also called on governments and researchers to remain active to protect user rights.
Salomó concluded, stating that virtual spaces offered users greater social interactions and stressed Metaverses such as the CatVers had “the ability to go from one museum to another instantly.”
Mònica Roca, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, added such Metaverse technologies “will transform the world,” adding,
“The Catalan language and Catalan culture must be present in this technological revolution, we cannot be left out”
Jordi Puigneró, Vice-President and Digital Policies Minister of Catalonia, added having “a presence in these new environments” was the “only way to protect the nation” and that the region had “always wanted to be at the cutting edge” of technology.
Interested parties can visit the Catalan Blockchain Centre website for more information.
Governments Enter Metaverse Space Race
The news comes after Mark Zuckerberg, Meta Chief Executive and Founder, rebranded Facebook to reflect on the company’s shift to building the new digital platform, sparking a virtual space race across the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) industry
Along with major tech firms such as NVIDIA, HTC VIVE, Meta, and others, governments have joined the movement to build their own virtual environments to promote cultural and diplomatic initiatives.
Croatia has stepped up political and economic efforts to facilitate Metaverses for its economy, namely after Former President Stjepan Mesic vowed to support Metaverse World with developing future technologies, apps, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and cryptocurrency trading platforms.
Croatian firm Delta Reality became one of the first companies to list an entire Metaverse platform—the Museum of Digital Life (MoDaL)—for 8.8 Ethereum ($31,600 USD) in October, which will allow attendees to view digital artworks and join events.
The Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade also inked a massive digital land deal with Decentraland in November to buy virtual real estate to open the world’s first Metaverse embassy.
South Korean ministers also pledged $2.2 billion USD last year to boost hyperconnectivity across the country along with deployments of cloud computing, blockchain, and Metaverse tools by 2025.