Inside South Korea’s wild plan to dominate the metaverse – Cointelegraph Magazine

“Many years ago, it was AI. Now, it’s metaverse,” he says. “From the government’s perspective, […] as long as you don’t have a coin itself, they’re willing to support a lot of these new technologies” — Doo Wan Nam from StableNode

South Korea: The land of the metaverse

If you had to pick the one country that’s most primed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the metaverse, South Korea would be high on the list. 

It’s a technology-obsessed country that eagerly adopts new products, where 98% of people own a smart device and more than 10% of the population own at least some cryptocurrency. Despite being the 13th-largest economy in the world by GDP — and the 27th by population — it’s the fourth-largest gaming market in the world, with its 33 million gamers generating $8.3 billion in revenue for the sector in 2021.

Gaming is already a metaverse-style social activity. The most popular games are either cooperative or competitive, and the country dominates esports, with thousands packing stadiums to watch professional players battle it out. 

The Seoul Metaverse. (Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government)

“For [Australians], our entertainment on a day-to-day basis would be watching TV or watching a movie or whatever,” says Melbourne-based Zerocap analyst Nathan Lenga, who has researched South Korea’s metaverse plans.

“But 50% of people in Korea actually reported that their daily dose of entertainment was gaming. So, it’s really, really immersed and just integrated into their culture,” he says.

The metaverse and South Korea’s Digital New Deal

The South Korean government has an ambitious 58.2 trillion won ($44.6 billion) plan to transform its economy to embrace new technologies, called the “Digital New Deal.” Part of this package includes 223.7 billion won ($171.6 million) earmarked to help South Korea become ranked No. 5 among the most metaverse-adopted countries in the world by 2026 — up from its current place at No. 12….


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