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Why Governments Are Embracing the Metaverse

Mar 15, 2024

Callum Moates

The metaverse or 3D internet represents a significant evolution in digital interaction, merging virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and the internet into a singular, immersive platform. The 3D internet is gaining attention from global governments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States (US), and South Korea due to its potential to revolutionize daily life, the economy, societal engagement, and governance mechanisms. Use cases of the metaverse in industries like education, healthcare, and sustainability are at the forefront of government investments. However, integrating the metaverse into a nation’s economy has its challenges. Security, privacy, and ethical considerations are major concerns as countries navigate this uncharted territory. Governments are exploring strategies to reap the benefits of the metaverse while mitigating risks, aiming to balance innovation with responsibility in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Economic growth and innovation

The metaverse drives economic growth by creating a vast ecosystem where digital and physical realms converge, providing fertile ground for innovation, new business models, and new markets. The economic potential of the metaverse can be better understood by looking at the research commissioned by Meta and produced by Deloitte that reveals the metaverse could add between $402 billion and $760 billion to the US’s annual GDP by 2035.

Entrepreneurs and startups leverage this space to create unique value propositions, such as virtual events, digital goods, and services catering to the inhabitants of the metaverse. The 3D internet offers a new platform to engage with customers and operate. Companies are exploring virtual storefronts, interactive product demonstrations, and enhanced online shopping experiences that combine the convenience of e-commerce with the tangibility of in-store shopping, driving sales, fostering brand loyalty, and opening new revenue streams.

Companies and governments are also leveraging the 3D internet to train employees with AR and VR to improve immersive learning and training across various sectors, such as healthcare, education, and the military. The US defense forces already use immersive training techniques for employees. Companies also use the 3D internet to build digital twins to optimize physical processes for efficiency and cost reductions. 

Here are some examples of governments investing in the metaverse:

  • United Kingdom: For instance, the UK government in 2023 said that its science and technology framework will be supported by $463 million in funding to capitalize on rapidly growing and immersive technologies, as per CoinDesk. By investing in the metaverse and web3 technologies, governments aim to lead in future web technology and maximize economic growth opportunities.

  • South Korea: The South Korean government announced a significant investment in developing a comprehensive metaverse ecosystem to foster digital content creation, education, and corporate growth, aiming to become a leading global player in metaverse technology. For South Korea's Metaverse Project, the government has earmarked 223.7 billion won (approximately $77.1 million per CNN) as part of its Digital New Deal, aiming to kickstart the metaverse industry by supporting companies and creating jobs. Furthermore, Seoul’s metropolitan government is developing a 3.9 billion-won metaverse platform to enable citizens to access public services virtually.

  • Saudi Arabia: As part of its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia is investing $1 billion in metaverse-related projects to position itself as a global metaverse hub. A major portion of this investment is focused on developing 3D internet technologies for its economy and the NEOM mega-city project.

Cultural preservation and conservation

The metaverse is revolutionizing cultural preservation and heritage conservation. This emerging digital realm provides a unique platform for digitizing and preserving cultural artifacts, landmarks, and traditions, ensuring they remain accessible for future generations. 

Governments worldwide are recognizing the metaverse's potential in safeguarding cultural heritage. Through collaborations with cultural institutions, museums, and heritage organizations, governments are investing in projects that create virtual replicas, exhibitions, and experiences.

Here are some examples of initiatives to preserve cultural heritage in the metaverse:

  • Museums: As a part of its Innovation Accelerator, the UK government has funded a significant project called "Museums in the Metaverse" with £5.6 million to develop a virtual reality museum platform. This project, led by the University of Glasgow's College of Arts & Humanities, aims to create a platform where professionals and amateurs can become "virtual curators," building virtual and mixed-reality environments with 3D-scanned objects from collections. Online visitors will have the opportunity to explore these spaces via VR headsets from anywhere in the world. 

  • Cultural preservation: A collaboration between the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), the General Directorate of Antiquities of Lebanon (DGA), the Lebanese Ministry of Culture, and a US-based company, Flyover Zone, led to the creation of the ‘Baalbek Reborn’ activation, an immersive experience that allows visitors to walk through a 3D replica of the Roman Heliopolis in Lebanon. Creating a digital twin of a historic location in the metaverse is a great way to preserve it for future generations to experience without it being at risk of damage or wear and tear.

  • Cultural festivals and events: In South Korea’s “Metaverse Seoul,” residents can use their smartphones to visit cultural heritage sites and ceremonies. During New Year’s Eve, that platform allowed citizens to witness the traditional Bosingak bell-ringing ceremony, opening the event to anyone interested.

Environmental sustainability technologies

Organizations and governments are increasingly recognizing the 3D internet for its potential to contribute to environmental sustainability and promote green technologies. The metaverse provides avenues to reduce carbon emissions and resource consumption that traditionally accompany travel, physical events, and building infrastructure by creating virtual environments and digital platforms. It can also promote responsible consumption by shifting consumer purchases from more resource-intensive physical items to more sustainable digital ones. Digital twins of physical facilities can also be instrumental in managing carbon emissions and improving resource usage in cities, urban developments, or utility centers. Governments globally are also beginning to harness this potential, encouraging the development of eco-friendly metaverse platforms, data centers, and infrastructures designed to minimize environmental impacts. 

Here are some notable initiatives of governments in the metaverse:

  • Digital twins to promote sustainability: The metaverse offers a crucial environmental feature by utilizing technology to enhance carbon reduction strategies. Digital twin platforms offer comprehensive views of the physical environment of structures like apartments, buildings, or whole cities, facilitating sustainability optimization and enabling predictive analysis of environmental impacts. For instance, Singapore reached a milestone by creating the world's first digital twin of an entire nation using Bentley Systems tools. This virtual 3D model integrates GIS, lidar, and imagery data to enhance urban sustainability and resilience.

  • Virtual conferences and meetings: Several governments and international organizations have started hosting these events in the metaverse to reduce the carbon footprint associated with travel to international conferences and seminars. This encouragement of remote collaboration decreases energy consumption and emissions from commuting. For instance, the World Economic Forum’s Global Collaboration Village is a 3D internet platform for world leaders to come together and collaborate. Leaders can assemble at the virtual town hall for plenary sessions, meetings, and, eventually, bilateral meetings.

  • Green standards for metaverse infrastructure: Some governments are setting green computing standards to ensure the metaverse operates efficiently and sustainably. For instance, the UAE government recently launched a paper called “Responsible Metaverse Self-Governance Framework.” Omar Sultan Al Olama, the UAE’s Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy, said that the document primarily highlights globally accepted operating standards for security, sustainability, and beyond.

Digital privacy

With its immersive and interconnected digital spaces, the metaverse presents significant cybersecurity and privacy challenges. As users navigate these virtual worlds, they encounter risks related to data breaches, identity theft, surveillance, and more:

  • Data breaches: With vast amounts of personal data being shared within the metaverse, the risk of data breaches becomes a primary concern. Hackers targeting weak points in the infrastructure can gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

  • Identity theft: Malicious actors can impersonate or steal users' digital identities, leading to fraud and other illicit activities.

  • Surveillance: The immersive nature of the metaverse, coupled with advanced tracking technologies, raises concerns about surveillance and the potential for private entities and governments to misuse personal data.

Governments recognize the issues related to digital privacy and are taking proactive steps to ensure individuals' safety, security, and privacy in the metaverse. Here are a few initiatives:

  • Data management: Legislations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union set stringent guidelines for data handling and user privacy in digital spaces, including the metaverse. These laws mandate consent for data collection, the right to data access, and the right to be forgotten, among other protections.

  • Cybersecurity: Governments are developing and implementing robust cybersecurity standards to protect the metaverse's infrastructure from cyber threats. The World Economic Forum (WEF) addresses cybersecurity in the 3D internet through initiatives like the Global Collaboration Village and the Defining and Building the Metaverse Initiative. These efforts aim to foster safe, responsible, and economically viable metaverse development, focusing on governance, innovation, and public-private cooperation to mitigate cyber risks and ensure user safety.

  • International cooperation: Cybersecurity and privacy in the 3D internet are global issues that transcend national borders. Organizations like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are focusing on pre-standardization work for metaverse technology to address cybersecurity threats and ensure user safety in immersive digital experiences.

Mar 15, 2024

Callum Moates

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About Landvault

Landvault is building infrastructure to accelerate the metaverse economy, by building tools to create, deploy and monetize content. The company has helped over 200 clients enter the metaverse, including both Fortune 500 companies and government organizations like the Abu Dhabi government, Mastercard, L’Oreal, Red Bull, and Heineken. The company has raised a total of $40m over the past three years and continues to pioneer technological advancements.

We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024

Landvault · Wam Group

All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved


We build infrastructure for the 3D internet,
to create a richer, fairer internet.

Copyright ©️ 2024 · Landvault · Wam Group · All rights reserved