The tiny Caribbean island of Barbados has extended its diplomatic outreach to the virtual world and is preparing to legally declare digital real estate sovereign land with the establishment of a metaverse embassy, in what could be seen as a historic step toward the legitimization of the metaverse.
The island nation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has confirmed that they have signed an agreement with a blockchain-based platform to establish a digital embassy in Decentraland, a user-owned, Ethereum-based digital environment – first for sovereign nations.
The tech platform has also announced the move in a tweet.
The opening of the embassy sometime in January will make Barbados the first country in the world to recognize “digital sovereign land.”
The processes of identifying and purchasing the land, the virtual embassies and consulates’ architecting, developing facilities to provide services such as “e-visas” and constructing a “teleporter” that will transport users’ avatars between the various worlds, will be assisted by various projects.
When the decision to open the metaverse embassy was first approved in August, Barbados government called the project a form of “technology diplomacy” that could open doors to further cultural exchange with other nations.
Barbados’ ambassador to the UAE, H.E. Gabriel Abed, pointed that his country does not plan to stop its digital expansion at this and announced its intentions to expand aggressively by building structures and purchasing digital land in a variety of virtual reality platforms, including Somnium Space and SuperWorld.
The concept of ‘metaverse’, which is combining elements of social media and virtual reality, has steadily gained in popularity and is drawing interest from the bigwigs of Big Tech firms.
Only last month, Facebook announced its plans to expand into the metaverse, rebrand itself under a new parent company Meta, while dozens of other firms, such as Nvidia, Microsoft and Roblox, are in the process of developing software and hardware to power the digital world.