Barbados is creating a buzz on social media and among tech geeks with reports that the island is the first sovereign country to establish a “metaverse embassy” which is expected to take place this coming January.
While some have regarded it as a catchy publicity stunt, others are taking it quite seriously and praising the island as a trend setter, while others said they are still to understand the implications of the development.
The event was widely reported and in an article on YahooFinance, it was stated that Barbados was preparing to legally declare digital real estate sovereign land with the establishment of a metaverse embassy.
It was reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade had signed an agreement days ago with Decentraland, among the largest and most popular crypto-powered digital worlds, for the establishment of a digital embassy.
A press release from CoinDesk news site specialising in bitcoin and digital currencies said government was also finalising agreements with “Somnium Space, SuperWorld and other Metaverse platforms.”
The island’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Gabriel Abed, in an interview with CoinDesk was reported as saying: “The idea is not to pick a winner – the metaverse is still very young and new, and we want to make sure what we build is transferable across the meta worlds.”
The report noted that the Barbados Cabinet had approved the metaverse embassy in August and viewed the move as a unique diplomatic opportunity.
“This is a way for Barbados to expand its diplomatic missions beyond the 18 it currently has with 190+ countries around the world.
This allows us to open the door, using technology diplomacy, which then extends to cultural diplomacy – the trade of art, music, and culture.”
According to the report, Abed said the island intended to expand aggressively beyond this initial effort to build structures and purchase digital land in a variety of virtual worlds.
With the opening of the embassy, tentatively scheduled for January, Barbados is being billed as the first country in the world to recognise digital sovereign land.
In addition, the Barbados diplomat said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Ministry of Science and Technology, and other governmental bodies had reviewed the plans over “several, several months”.