Much like the city of Seoul, the country of Barbados is fully embracing The Metaverse. Just weeks after Facebook's high-profile announcement of their goals to run the future internet, the Barbados Metaverse has already been established.
The Caribbean island government has already begun moving its embassy into the virtual world. Partnering with Decentraland, a crypto-focused Metaverse, the Barbados metaverse is already close to opening.
What is the Barbados Metaverse?
The real world embassy has partnered with Decentraland to establish itself inside the virtual world. Currently, Decentraland has just over 90,000 plots of digital land to offer. The country of Barbados has secured a deal to acquire some of that land to set up a virtual embassy.
However, Decentraland isn't the only virtual world Barbados is after. The country is also acquiring areas of “land” in “Somnium Space, SuperWorld and other Metaverse platforms”. Additionally, other metaverses may be included in the future.
“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 metaworlds,” said Barbados ambassador Gabriel Abed.
While not ready quite yet, the planned metaverse embassy will be ready in January, 2022.
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E-Visas are coming
In the announcement for the Barbados Metaverse, plans to restrict area access were already revealed. While many believe the future internet will be an open place free to traverse, those buying up “land” are already planning limitations.
Inside the virtual words, the Barbados government is already looking to impose “e-visas” that will decide which worlds people can visit. Just like real visas or passports, these virtual documents will decide where you can go, how long you can be there and what you can do.
While these visas will allow users to transport a single avatar across multiple metaverses, they can also be restrictive. Furthermore, as more countries get involved with establishing their own digital borders, documents like e-visas will only become more scrutinised.
This is exactly the kind of dystopian warning that Snow Crash — the novel that invented the metaverse — warns about. In the novel, writer Neil Stephenson warns that humanity will mimic everything in the digital world, even poverty , borders, governments and hyper-capitalism. Was he right?
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