South Korea’s government is investing nearly $187 million in a project to create a national metaverse for business and industry.

South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning has pledged 223.7 billion won ($186.7 million) to create a national metaverse project that will support the growth of South Korea’s digital economy.

The ministry has four main objectives in mind to create an all-encompassing Metaverse they are calling the “Expanded Virtual World”. This Metaverse will be used to expand South Korea’s digital economy, while also providing a platform for the digital growth of cities, education and media.

The Ministry is also going beyond simply providing the infrastructure. They are investing in development as well, planning on developer contests, a hackathon, and more community centered development activities.

Simon Kim, the CEO of South Korean crypto incubator Hashed, said that the government investment makes sense given the massive investment seen from the private community. He also pointed out that the government Metaverse project will be more focused on commercial expansion and on providing incentives for participants.

Kim said he is more concerned with the regulatory questions surrounding the Metaverse in South Korea.

“It is the regulatory issue that the government should pay more attention to. In Korea, publishing of NFT games is prohibited, and token issuance is also prohibited.”

South Korea had previously announced the “New Digital Deal,” a broad set of policies meant to foster the growth of digital technologies. This new “Expanded Virtual World” is simply one part of that broader initiative.

It’s also expected that the South Korean Metaverse will have a global reach. According to Park Yungyu, head of communication and policy department at the ministry:

“It is important to create a world-class metaverse ecosystem as the starting point to intensively foster a new hyper-connected industry.”

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