Seongnam, the “Silicon Valley” of South Korea and the twelfth-most populated city, intends to undergo a digital makeover. The plan is to reconstruct itself in a virtual metaverse and provide citizenship rights via NFTs. This news comes in addition to the blockchain-based payment system currently operating in the city.
Seongnam Adopts NFTs For Citizenship Issuance
Despite the current crypto and NFT market downturn, blockchain technology – particularly NFTs – continue to attract institutions, companies, and governments. One reason for this attraction is that NFTs present a strong use case for verifiable ownership. Thus, issuing citizenship identification documents via NFT can help prevent fraud and identity theft.
According to one local media outlet, the Seongnam city government has placed a work order to construct a metaverse city. Officials expect the opening inauguration for the virtual city to be in May of next year and plan to start issuing NFTs as soon as April. In hopes of sparking momentum for the virtual city, the government intends to give its people citizenship using non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The government hopes that all generations, especially those who grew up using digital media, will be drawn toward the Metacity as active participants. Residents can track the progress and status of physical city government legislation by checking the metaverse city’s blockchain.
More details regarding the implementation plan are expected to be announced sometime in April or May next year. The Seongnam municipal council informed news outlets that a meeting in October would decide when more public details on the platform and the NFTs are required.
Future Plans in Korea
Seoul, the country’s capital, has already begun a trial period for its metaverse platform last month. During a demo in August, Seoul City Hall and the Seoul Plaza were virtually recreated. Participants were able to interact by playing games and other activities. Beyond fun and games, mental health mentors will be made available in the metaverse to provide a virtual counseling room for South Korean children.
In addition to digital services for citizens, various document proofs, and other features, Seoul is also planning to host a metaverse complaint center with a live chat option. More than three thousand participants will be introduced to the city’s online learning platform and experts from the Seoul IT Tech Governance Group during the first stage of implementation.
Asian Governments Trending Toward NFT Adoption
Examples of government adoption of blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse can be seen throughout Asia. The Chinese government has announced a two-year strategy for developing a blockchain-based metaverse platform. In Japan, the government announced its use case for NFTs just days after the plans from South Korea made headlines. Meanwhile, Indonesia is developing its metaverse platform to support regional enterprises.
The use cases for NFTs are much broader than the general assumption that NFTs are simply JPEG photographs. Governments seem to recognize that NFTs and blockchain technology can help them prevent identity theft and other fraudulent activities. The Korean government and governments throughout Asia are taking an actively progressive stance on implementing blockchain technology, NFTs, and metaverse development.