Barbados says it is the first country in the world to set up a digital embassy in a metaverse.
The Caribbean islands entered into an agreement with Decentraland, a company that hosts a user-owned 3D digital world of 90,601 “plots of land.”
The decision was approved by the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in August, and the virtual embassy is scheduled to open in January 2022.
Metaversum is a concept created in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash to describe a kind of three-dimensional version of virtual reality on the Internet where people are present as avatars and move through a real-world digital performance.
Decentraland launched its own metaverse in 2017, allowing users to build their plots, create online games, gambling services and more.
Barbados is also planning to open virtual embassies with other Metaverse providers, including Somnium Space and SuperWorld, CoinDesk reports this week.
The transfer is expected to get other states to set up virtual embassies, consulates and tourist destinations.
Barbados had to consult lawyers while working on the proposal to comply with international law and the Vienna Convention.
However, the new technology is unlikely to replace old customs, Brett Bruen, a former diplomat and leader of the White House Global Engagement, told Sky News.
“Diplomacy sticks to the old ways of participating, and while a twitter account or a Metaverse delegation can complement that commitment, it really doesn’t replace it,” he said.
“I remember when Hilary Clinton invited us to discuss American diplomacy on social media at the time in Second Life – we got a presentation on how this is going to be the future of diplomacy.”
“Diplomacy has not been very successful online. There are only a few examples of countries that have effectively promoted their online status – countries like Russia and China have become a lot of misinformation, but I am still very skeptical that the old art of diplomacy can be practiced in these virtual spaces. “
Originally, each 33-foot x 33-foot plot was sold with 1,000 units of cryptocurrency MANA, but now Decentraland’s plots are being re-listed for more than $ 3 million, more than $ 9 million.
Decentraland’s MANA rose sharply Facebook’s announcement that it will branch out into the metaversion sector.
However, it appears that for the time being, although countries will continue to use different online presence, the real work of diplomacy will remain in the form of stone-footed embassies.