The chatter and interest in the Metaverse increased in the first part of the year. Interest has been rife, with fashion, fast food, music, sport, and even governments exploring the Metaverse.
South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT plans a Metaverse ecosystem
Last week, news came that the South Korean government is planning a investment in the Metaverse of KRW 223,7 billion ($ 195 million).
The Ministry of Science and ICT will build the country's Metaverse ecosystem to drive talent, develop a decentralized innovative environment and support VR / AR development.
Last month, the ministry announced a five-year plan to become a leading Metaverse nation. South Korean companies, celebrities and investments have supported the rapid development of the ecosystem to this day.
Main South Korean metaverse initiatives
Tech giant Samsung announced the launch of its virtual store in January. The company has opened a virtual version of its 837 physical stores in Decentraland (MANA).
Other notable forays into the Metaverse have included K-Pop and Korean drama (Hallyu). In January, Animal Concerts (concert organizer in the U.S. Metaverse) and South Korean blockchain Klatyn announced a partnership to provide music concerts to the Metaverse.
BTS 'virtual pay-per-view concert in 2020, Bang Bang Con The Live, attracted 756.000 spectators worldwide and brought in $ 20 million.
Binance has shown interest in South Korean Hallyu, NFTs and the Metaverse. Last week it announced a "strategic partnership with SM Brand Marketing".
Binance and SM Brand Marketing plan to establish a global Play-to-Create (P2C) ecosystem. P2C will allow users to recreate content and products in the form of games, music, dance and goods, which are convertible into NFTs.
In February, Binance also announced a strategic partnership with YG Entertainment. Binance and YG Entertainment aim to develop Metaverse, NFT and gaming opportunities.
Amid the growing interest in the Metaverse, illicit activity is also on the rise. In late January, the South Korean government took steps to hold operators accountable for illegal activities. The move came in response to reports of sexual harassment in the Metaverse.
China explores the Metaverse despite the perplexities of the Metaverse
The Chinese city of Wuhan joined a growing list of Chinese cities and provinces with plans for the Metaverse in January.
The move to develop a Metaverse is to support economic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In December, Shanghai released its five-year development plan which includes "the use of the Metaverse in public areas, commercial offices and other areas".
As governments raise concerns, there is an obvious movement to bring the Metaverse to citizens. Government interest would push Metaverse land prices further north.