Crypto Trends in South Korea: Metaverse, NFTs and the Digital New Deal
South Korea has the goal to become the 5th largest metaverse adopted country on the planet by 2026. The nation is off to a slow start regarding the integration of decentralised technology into its economy, yet is picking up momentum through the passage of time. For example, under its new leadership, the country seeks to make its capital, Seoul, the first city to enter the digital world. To analyse Korea’s creation of this new blockchain paradigm, we will look at the unique building tools being used; cryptocurrencies, Web3, metaverse and NFTs. The territory appears primed to architecturally design a technologically immersed country through the effective use of these blockchain-related tools.
South Korea is currently the 12th largest country in metaverse market size. A 7 place jump in rankings is quite significant, yet seemingly achievable through the government’s growing drive to adopt cryptocurrencies. One necessity to grow in metaverse size is to raise the level of demand and utilisation of crypto. Already, at the end of 2021, the country’s virtual asset market capitalization was at 55 trillion WON, equivalent to $45.9 billion USD, according to the Financial Services Commission (FSC). The territory has already been increasing its adoption of the crypto tool, putting South Korea at the 7th position in countries by cryptocurrency market cap. According to the FSC, at the beginning of 2021 only 1.9 million citizens owned cryptocurrencies, yet in December of that year, an estimated 15.25 million individuals owned crypto. This means that almost 30% of the nation’s population owns cryptocurrencies!
South Korea’s impressive usage of its crypto-related tool has been achieved irrespective of the rigidity of the country’s KYC requirements and crackdown on cryptocurrencies. However, President-elect Suk-yeol’s campaign lauded the deregulation of the country’s crypto industry, the adoption of the technology and initiatives to develop blockchain technology. With Suk-ySouth Korea’s impressive usage of its crypto-related tool has been achieved irrespective of the rigidity of the country’s KYC requirements and crackdown on cryptocurrencies.
The Importance of South Korea’s Digital New Deal
South Korea’s next tool to be enhanced and subsequently utilised by the government is Web3. Recently, the government established an initiative to invest 58.2 trillion WON ($45.8 billion USD) into the society to accelerate the country’s transition into a new economy. One sector receiving funding is decentralised technologies and Web3 services. Specifically, projects that seek to enhance Korea’s ability to use its Web3 tool through blockchain technology are receiving resources. The territory is building on blockchain technology to bring itself to the forefront of the Web3 trend. This Web3 tool is likely to be highly relevant in the architecture of the nation’s digital economy.
How the Digital New Deal Impacts South Korea’s Metaverse
As discussed, leaping from 12th place to 5th place regarding countries by metaverse market size in 4 years is not an easily achievable goal. However, through the Digital New Deal, the Korean government has promised 223.7 billion WON($186.7 million USD) for the improvement of their metaverse tool. The government is supporting the creation and implementation of its own metaverse world, the Expanded Virtual World. Therefore, to achieve the optimal design for a digital country, South Korea must endeavour to enhance its metaverse tool.
Additionally, the popularity of this metaverse tool flourishing in South Korea. With its incredibly fast internet speeds and significant bandwidth capacity, South Korea one of the most With its incredibly fast internet speeds and significant bandwidth capacity, South Korea is one of the most digitally connected societies in the world. This has resulted in metaverse platforms in Korea being highly accessible. Indeed, the country’s native metaverse platform, Zepeto, boasts over 300 million users and over 20 million monthly active users. Similar to Roblox, Zepeto incorporates games into its virtual world, enabling players to create or take part in multiplayer games with friends and other players.
Further, the importance of using the metaverse tool to digitise the country is crucial according to Lim Hyesook, a South Korean government minister. Hyesook’s perspective comes from the metaverse having the potential to create over 1.5 million virtual jobs. Based on FSC reports, the country’s economy already has over 1,700 people working in the metaverse industry. To enhance the metaverse tool’s level of utility, the government has stipulated that it will fund university courses to produce over 40 thousand experts in the metaverse space.
Regulation and the South Korean President-Elect Mints his Own NFT Collection
Finally, the last tool that the territory will be focused on improving is the usability and functionality of NFTs. South Korea has become one of the first countries to begin discussing NFT tax regulations. The FSC has declared that NFTs do not come under the regulation of digital assets in the country. With this lack of tax on NFTs, the non-fungible asset market size has grown significantly. This integration of NFTs into the nation’s digital economy has been expedited by companies like Samsung and LG Electronics dedicating divisions to the creation and development of NFTs.
The significance of using the NFT tool can be understood via president-elect Suk-yeol’s creation of an NFT collection for his supporters in his campaign to provide a sense of community and connection. Recently, NFTs became a means of issuing diplomas with the Hoseo University providing its graduating students with their diplomas as an NFT.
Likewise, through enhancing their use of NFTs in architecting their digital economy, South Korea’s booming gaming market can be utilised effectively. Currently, the country has the fourth-largest gaming market. Online gaming has rooted itself in the Korean culture with over 50% of the country’s population reporting that gaming is their daily dose of entertainment. Already, NFT games are wildly popular in the country with one game, Wemade, which was released in 2021, reporting over 650,000 average monthly users! Clearly, strengthening their NFT tool to build an integrated, decentralised economy, is significant to the territory’s government.
Ultimately, as South Korea embraces the changes heralded by the dawn of the cryptocurrency revolution, the tools developed through funding and focusing on crypto, Web3, metaverse and NFTs, will be utilised in reaching their ambitions. Through South Korea’s enrichment of the four tools, its Digital New Deal will fulfil its purpose of catalysing the design of a digital economy, whereby Korea achieves its goal of metaverse market capitalization size. As the nation remains at the cutting edge of the space, continuing to adopt blockchain technology, its economy and citizens are in for quite a ride.
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Originally published at https://zerocap.com on May 31, 2022.