South Korea Launches Metaverse Replica of Seoul

As part of a three-year effort to expand its public services, Metaverse Seoul will allow users to take their avatars to tax offices, access youth counseling and read e-books.

AccessTimeIconJan 17, 2023 at 3:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 17, 2023 at 5:16 p.m. UTC
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South Korea is bringing Seoul to the metaverse, launching a virtual replica of the capital city with a goal of improving its public services, Forkast reported Monday.

Known as Metaverse Seoul, the virtual world is estimated to be completed by 2026. The initial stage invites citizens to use avatars to get their tax questions answered, access youth counseling, find support for small businesses and even read e-books.

In future stages, the virtual world will expand to real estate and foreign investor services, incorporating augmented reality to manage municipal infrastructure. It also plans to introduce blockchain technologies including cryptocurrency.

South Korea has been expanding its metaverse initiatives as a part of its “Digital New Deal” political initiative. In February 2022, the nation announced plans to earmark about $200 million to fund metaverse projects, giving out grants to universities and companies to help expand their technologies. The Bank of Korea also reportedly completed a test of central bank digital currencies in November.

South Korea isn’t the only country making substantial investments in the metaverse. In October, Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, laid out the country’s plans to invest in non-fungible tokens (NFT) and metaverse services.

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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.