3 Cities Aspiring to Become Future Metaverse Hubs | Fintech time
Although the subject of the metaverse is still new to everyone, some countries around the world are starting to get into it. In fact, some cities are already aiming to attract and foster the metaverse, with the ultimate goal of being a global hub of it.
It is estimated that the metaverse will have a quarter of the people working, studying, shopping and socializing for at least an hour a day by 2026. well. Other statistics, such as some of Townestimate that the direct economy tied to the metaverse could be around $13 trillion, which may impact not only tech players, but also cryptocurrencies.
Economic development, if future forecasts prove correct, with a particular focus on digital economic development, would be a boon to any jurisdiction seeking to become a global metaverse hub. In particular, a growth in job creation (whether in-person or virtual), an increase in startups and foreign direct investment (FDI), and an increase in international trade can further lead to economic growth. Moreover, both directly and indirectly, with the rise of fintech and edtech and their sub-sectors like gametech and digital currencies, would continue to grow jointly and see the metaverse as a powerful catalyst for this.
Much of the innovation of the metaverse will of course come mainly from global technology hubs such as London or Silicon Valley, which for example Meta (Owner of Facebook) Mark Zuckerburg helped popularize the term and the idea, as they are currently major global centers of technology and innovation anyway.
Although its development is still in its infancy, there are cities around the world that are already embracing the metaverse (in which there is organic private sector interest and developments) and also aiming (from at a governmental strategic level) to be future global metaverse hubs.
China’s largest city by population and largest financial and commercial center, on the 8e July released a roadmap aimed at becoming “the” global leader in metaverse technology.
The same policy document pointed out that it will become a $50+ billion industry by 2025. Shanghai also aims to attract over 1,000 blockchain, crypto and metaverse companies, as well as support over 40,000 virtual jobs in 2030. The city will also aim to see Shanghai accelerate its efforts in virtual reality research and development (R&D). platforms.
As early as late last year, it was reported that Shanghai intended to double down on its support for metaverse platforms, as it included it in its policy document which was published at the time. Shanghai has been a major player in China and is reported as the epicenter of China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) rollout and adoption of other blockchains trials.
Note, on 15e July, Shanghai released its digital economy development plan at the 14e Five-year plan timethus demonstrating its desire to accelerate its digital economic development.
The Middle Eastern city also aims to be a global metaverse hub. Launched only last month in July, the Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to make Dubai one of the top 10 metaverse economies in the world as well as a global hub for the metaverse community. The strategy aims to build on Dubai’s success in attracting over 1,000 blockchain and metaverse companies. It also promotes Dubai’s ambitions to support over 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030.
According to the Government of Dubai website, the main pillars of the strategy focus on:
- Extended reality (which mixes the physical and virtual worlds)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- mixed reality
- Digital twins (a virtual representation of an object or system)
Dubai and the UAE as a whole have also seen themselves become not only a major regional hub in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, but a major contender globally with hubs. Its own digital transformation and user-friendly ecosystem have made it the leading player not only in the Arab world, but also a major player globally.
Another Chinese city – the southern city of Guangzhou, which has transformed into a major global city in a short time – is also in the running to become a major metaverse center. Nansha District in the city has established a Metaverse Industrial Zone and enacted nine measures to boost local Metaverse development in terms of human capital, R&D and technological progress. Notably, they include financial support of up to nearly $30 million ($29.6 million) for metaverse platforms with “key technology innovation effects,” in addition to rent relief for three years for small and medium enterprises (SME).
Guangzhou also plans to host the first “Metaverse Bay Area Digital Art Festivalwhich includes the following stages: digital art and design competition, digital art exhibition and digital art urban carnival. In addition, Guangzhou aims to establish the world’s first metaverse arbitration agency, with the Guangzhou Arbitration Commission come into agreement with the Zhuhai Yuanbang Technology Company.
Time will tell, but Shanghai and Guangzhou in China and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates aim to use the metaverse to create jobs and economic growth.
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