The Seoul Metropolitan Government has launched the Metaverse Seoul project, which will provide citizens of South Korea’s capital city with virtual access to city services.
Following beta testing, Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced the opening of the first phase of Metaverse Seoul in a news conference on January 16. The online environment, according to the mayor, would be a “place of communication for the people” of the capital city, allowing them to virtually visit several of Seoul’s attractions, view official papers, make specific grievances, and receive answers to inquiries about filing municipal taxes.
The local administration is said to have spent some 2 billion won ($1.6 million) on the first phase of the metaverse project. The second step, according to Oh, will involve making Metaverse Seoul more accessible to senior citizens who may have difficulty physically commuting to city offices. According to Statistica data, more than 17% of South Korea’s population was over 65 as of 2022.
South Korea, which has one of the world’s fastest internet connection speeds for its 52 million citizens, has spearheaded some of the initiatives centered on the metaverse and blockchain adoption as the space has grown. Prior to FTX’s demise in November, the city of Busan announced plans to create a crypto exchange in partnership with FTX; the local government afterward dismissed many of its centralised global exchange partners.
Following Facebook’s renaming to Meta in October 2021, global interest in the metaverse allegedly increased, with numerous corporations expressing plans to construct virtual offices. The crypto market meltdown, as well as the failure of major platforms such as FTX, Voyager Digital, and Celsius Network, may have hindered adoption in 2022.