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Barbados First Nation With an Embassy in the Metaverse

Barbados has moved its embassy to the virtual space of the Metaverse. Credit: P. Hughes, CC BY-SA 4.0

Barbados announced on Tuesday that it will be the first sovereign nation to host its embassy on the metaverse. The Caribbean nation’s cabinet decided to adapt its diplomatic affairs to the burgeoning new virtual platform in August.

The metaverse has become increasingly visible in the past months after social media giant Facebook announced that it would shift its focus on the online space, even going so far as to rename its corporation “Meta.”

Barbados has entered into a relationship with Decentraland, a blockchain metaverse platform, in order to build the new project. The island nation issued a press release over the weekend, which states:

“Barbados’ Metaverse Embassy will be at the centre of activities to advance the growth of stronger bilateral relationships with governments globally.”

It also says that “e-consular services will be a core feature alongside with [sic] a virtual teleporter which will be built in Barbados’ Metaverse Embassy connecting all metaworlds as a gesture of diplomatic unification between technology platforms.”

Barbados’ ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Gabriel Abed, is currently in charge of the nation’s move to the virtual platform. Abed told CoinDesk that he believes that working in the metaverse will allow the country to broaden its diplomatic reach, giving it the ability to increase its international, diplomatic, and cultural engagement :

“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,” he said.

Abed also said that the move to the metaverse also includes a push to develop a virtual “e-visa” in full compliance with international law and the Vienna Convention.

Zuckerberg spearheads metaverse “Horizon”

Facebook announced last month that it will develop its own metaverse platform “Horizon” as part of its plan to move past standard social media sites and into the realm of virtual reality.

The metaverse (or “Horizon Home,” in its personal version) involves users working, gaming, and communicating in a virtual world with the use of VR headsets.

Zuckerberg, who has spearheaded the shift toward virtual reality, recently announced that the company would hire 10,000 skilled workers from the EU to help construct the metaverse platform.

First Zuckerberg began speaking about the Metaverse, the new virtual reality platform he is backing in order to create new ways to immerse users in a new experience, which may include getting yoghurt with friends and family, shopping, etc.

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We will be able to express ourselves in completely new, joyful new ways,” he declared. When, he said, he shares photos of his children with his parents via the Metaverse, “They’re going to feel like they’re right there with us,” he enthused.

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