There has been a lot of attention lately on how brands quickly adopt the metaverse for business. Behind the scene, some countries, and even cities, are already making provisions for launching their existence in the metaverse, essentially creating a virtual replica where all administrative services can be accessed.
South Korea’s Seongnam city is the latest to join this list as it recently announced its intention to grant citizen rights in the metaverse from May/June 2023.
Seongnam’s Metaverse Proposition
Seongnam, the 12th most populous city in South Korea, and home to an estimated one million inhabitants, recently announced that it will create a virtual version of the city in the metaverse and citizens will be able to access more municipal information when they acquire NFTs that will be issued for citizenship in the metaverse.
Although it has only started the process of building the metaverse, the city has set its completion date at April 2023, along with the plan for the service. An elaborate plan of action is expected to be released following a council meeting to be held in October.
A Fledging National Awareness
Seongnam is not the first South Korean city to take a step into the metaverse. Seoul, the country’s capital had earlier announced its intention to build a city replica in the virtual world in May. The city had in fact earmarked 3.9 billion Won for the project.
Seoul has already tested the first version of its metaverse that featured the Seoul city hall and the Seoul plaza. The test also featured participants playing games and engaging in other forms of interactive activities like virtual counseling.
The Seoul and Seongnam city metaverse approach is part of a national awareness to explore the next frontier of technological evolution. The government of Korea itself had earmarked a total of 223 billion Won ($117 million) to explore the “uncharted digital continent with infinite potential”.
South Korea is laying down a blueprint that could prove useful for other countries who are seeking to benefit from the metaverse. Possibly, South Korea’s foray into the virtual world will encourage other countries to do the same.