Crypto News
28 Jan 2022

South Korea Plans To Become The 5th Largest Metaverse Market By 2026


The metaverse craze has caught on much beyond tech giants and fashion brands. The latest to enter the alternate reality bandwagon is not another multi-billion dollar company but the elected government of South Korea. 

According to a road map shared by the government of South Korea as part of its Digital New Deal Initiative 2.0, the nation wants to be at the forefront of innovative technology, particularly the metaverse. The country’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced an ambitious plan to become the 5th largest global metaverse market by 2026 by targeting to nurture over 220 companies and 40,000 professionals specialising in metaverse technology. 

“Metaverse is a digital new continent with infinite potential and anyone can achieve their dreams by playing as the main character. In particular, it will be a space of opportunity for young people to challenge more and grow bigger to leap into a wider world,” as expressed by Minister Lim Hyesook. 

The Minister also explained that the government’s roadmap for a metaverse future will only supplement the ongoing efforts made by private companies, individual developers, and other citizens rather than usurping it. 

The South Korean government has earmarked up to 5.5 billion won (approx. ₹34 crores) to establish a metaverse academy to nurture young talent. Education, tourism, arts, and K-pop are some areas the government is looking to apply the new technology. Interestingly, the roadmap also includes the opening of a foreign institute to teach the Korean language on the metaverse. 

What brings South Korea to the metaverse? 

The answer is one word: Gaming. 

Currently, South Korea is the 12th largest metaverse market in the world. In 2022, the overall gaming market in the country is around $18.2 billion with strong YoY growth since 2007. Of this, metaverse-related games form an important part. And soon, the future of gaming is projected to be highly inclined towards the metaverse. 

Besides hosting the biggest gaming industries in the world, South Korea is also one of the earliest adopters of new technologies like crypto. “Several years ago South Korea became one of the key markets for cryptocurrency itself when other people were sceptical about it,” noted Alex Salnikov, the co-founder of the NFT Marketplace Rarible, to Blockworks. 

Seoul is also eyeing to be the first major city to enter the alternate reality realm by 2023. 

India’s Metaverse Parade  

Meanwhile, India is also gearing up to embrace the new virtual reality technology based on crypto, NFTs, and artificial intelligence. For the 73rd Republic Day parade, India’s Education Ministry showcased a tableau themed around ‘Vedas to Metaverse’. 

From Vedas to metaverse, the Indian education system is bridging the past with the present and creating a new future embracing technology,” tweeted Dr Subhas Sarkar, the Union Minister of State for Education. 

India’s IT sector has expanded its offerings into deep tech and is ready to tap into an $8 trillion metaverse opportunity, according to global investment bank Goldman Sachs.

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