At a government briefing on Wednesday, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) revealed that it will issue new regulations for the metaverse instead of enforcing the old laws. The ministry said the new rules would promote and trigger widespread adoption of the metaverse.
There is widespread concern that South Korea would apply gaming laws to the metaverse and even treat the entire concept like a video game. However, Park Yoon-kyu, Director General of ICT Policy at MSIT, hinted at a distinction between government administrators despite the striking similarities.
“We will not make the mistake of regulating a new service with an existing law,” Park said. He added that applying outdated laws to a new industry like the metaverse will stifle its long-term growth and innovation.
In South Korea, video games are prohibited from using cash rewards to incentivize players, a law put in place to prevent gambling. Rewards like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are often given as rewards to distributed ledger-based games, and transplanting these laws to the metaverse would effectively ban gaming in virtual worlds.
Metaverse projects in South Korea have already instituted a rewards system for participants, with some allowing liquidation while others allow users to spend their loot online. Ifland, a virtual world launched by SK Telecom, has implemented a point reward system for users to settle their in-game winnings.
Digital asset and metaverse enthusiasts should brace themselves for more announcements from the newly inaugurated committee in charge of the digital industry in the coming days.
South Korea’s Metaverse Thrust
South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, never hid his interest in digital assets, making them the cornerstone of his campaign. His presidency has seen a significant boost in the country’s attempts to be the focus of the metaverse globally, with the implementation of various policies.
Since January, the country has invested almost $300 million of its funds to create its metaverse ecosystem. Incentives were offered to entice companies to migrate a portion of their operations to the metaverse as it seeks to cement its place as an industry leader.
The country’s incursion into the metaverse is based on several reasons. First, the expectation of training up to 40,000 metaverse professionals in the country and stimulating the growth of its digital economy.
“It is important to create a world-class expanded virtual world ecosystem as a starting point to aggressively promote expanded virtual world,” said Park.
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