The South Korean Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning has pledged 223.7 billion KRW ($186.7 million) for creating a broad Metaverse ecosystem in order to support the growth of digital content and corporate growth in the country.
The Ministry has issued an official statement on February 27 that the funds would be utilized on completing four main objectives to create what appears to be an all-encompassing Metaverse ecosystem dubbed as the Expanded Virtual World.
The Korean government agency aims at using its Metaverse as a platform for the expansion of the virtual industrial growth of cities, education, and the media.
Content creators would enjoy support on multiple fronts for attracting the right amount of talent and helping to build the platform. The Ministry has also said that it would be hosting community-oriented creative activities, a hackathon and a Metaverse developer contest.
CEO of Hashed, Simon Kim, has pointed out that the new Metaverse platform is particularly focused on boosting commercial expansion by providing financial support for its participants. He has told the media that he doesn’t think there are problems with the government providing funding because the private sector is now “actively investing in the metaverse market.”
Kim continued that it is a regulatory issue that the government must pay more attention to since, in Korea, publishing of NFT games are prohibited, as well as token issuance.
Hashed is a South Korean crypto venture capital and incubator that has invested in Metaverse projects like Decentraland and The Sandbox.
Head of Communication and Policy Department at the Ministry, Park Yungyu, has stated through an announcement that this initiative of building a Metaverse platform is part of the bigger project, ‘Digital New Deal’ in South Korea.
The Digital New Deal is a proposed set of policies that are specifically designed for fostering the growth of digital technologies.
Park also added that it would be significant to create a world-class Metaverse ecosystem as the starting point for intensively fostering “a new hyper-connected industry.”
The Ministry is also preparing for its Metaverse to have a global reach since there would be seamless access to South Korean firms in time. It further plans on providing support for corporate growth to offer financial support and technological development.
Jason Ye, the co-founder of DeSpread, which is a multichain ecosystem accelerator, has called the new funding a “positive signal” that the South Korean government is demonstrating interest in the Metaverse. Jason spoke to the media, suggesting that due to the funding involved, opportunists who had attempted exploiting it “should be filtered out,” and the companies that are building a digital economy in the Metaverse would be able to thrive with the support of the Korean government.
The municipal government of Seoul has also been exploring its options in the public Metaverse space since last year. In November 2021, tentative plans for a “Metaverse 120 Center” had been announced.