Seongnam, South Korea launched plans on Wednesday to adopt non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse by developing a digital twin of its city along with digital citizenships for residents, tech media BeInCrypto reported on Friday.
Gyeonggi province government officials stated it would allow NFT citizenship to those joining the city’s “Metaverse Special City Seongnam” to provide services and information, the report read.
According to the programme, Seongnam will leverage digital transformation and blockchain technologies as the nation bids to become a major global Metaverse and Web3 hub by 2025.
The South Korean government added it would also open its “Metaverse Industry Promotion Law” project to promote digital enterprises nationwide.
Global Efforts to Build National Metaverses
The news comes after Seoul pledged $33.1 million USD to develop and deploy metaverse systems for its “Metaverse Seoul” project set to launch in 2026, reports in November last year found.
According to the five-year plan, Seoul would create a virtual platform for public services, with attendees using 3D avatars to interact in a virtualised 3D environment.
The capital city also built an augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) digital recreation of the Jeoson Dynasty in a major project with the Cultural Heritage Administration, Cheil Worldwide Inc, and Woomi Construction Corp, it was revealed in an agreement in July last year.
The developments follow efforts from the country’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning, who earmarked $186.7 million USD for a national Metaverse ecosystem.
The government roadmap aims to build a “sustainable” Metaverse for public-private partnerships (PPPs), collaboration, emerging technologies, and innovation for domestic and global firms.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), a rising competitor in the metaverse space race, launched its Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) metaverse to facilitate government interactions with citizens.
Prior to this, Barbados became the first country in the world to open a Metaverse embassy to promote tourism and consulate services globally.