[Metaverse Forum 2022] Experts, businesses discuss building new reality, opportunity in metaverse
discuss building new reality, opportunity in metaverse
The Korea Herald - Experts and
entrepreneurs got together in Seoul Monday to discuss the ways industries in
South Korea and the US are enthusiastically embracing emerging technologies
required for the metaverse, and the legal framework that is adapting to the new
ecosystem in Korea.
Taglined “The Rise
of Metaverse and What It Holds for the Future,” the Metaverse Forum 2022,
co-hosted by The Korea Herald, the nation’s largest English-language newspaper,
and the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, showed that metaverse
technologies are boosting connection between people regardless of whatever
physical barriers there may be.
Rather, the need to
overcome such barriers became abundantly clear in the wake of the pandemic.
“Now in the
post-COVID era, we are seeing new business models emerge,” James Kim, chairman
and chief executive officer of AmCham Korea, told the audience at the event
held at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul. Kim represents some 800 member companies
based out of Korea.“ With the advancement of technology, the concept of the
metaverse no longer remains an elusive dream.”
As more companies
adopt cloud services and virtual meetings, the world is seeing more room where
the metaverse could play a role in transforming how people work, study, play,
chat with friends, attend events and even buy items.
corporations profess metaverse as a future growth engine, but most are at too
early a developmental phase to be introduced publicly,” The Korea Herald Chief
Executive Officer Choi Jin-young said in an opening remark.“ More research and
experimentation is needed concerning the metaverse’s true nature and potential.
However, there is no doubt that it will become the main trend in industry.”
Speakers at the
Metaverse Forum 2022 stressed that the interoperability of devices on a single
metaverse platform, as well as the ubiquity of a self in many different
dimensions of the world is a main goal that all metaverse-related companies
have to pursue.
In that regard,
collaboration of different companies on a metaverse value chain is important,
given that no single company is able to create a complete metaverse alone.
“(VR, AR and XR) are
the roads that we are taking on this journey to the metaverse,” said Steve
Park, director of public policy for Meta Korea and Japan, in his presentation
at Metaverse Forum 2022.
metaverse as the successor of the mobile internet, the Meta official underlined
that users must feel like they are present with other people in the virtual
“If you are stuck on
one platform or service, that‘s not going to be the metaverse,” he said,
referring to the importance of interoperability in the metaverse.
SK Telecom, a
telecommunication company that operates its own metaverse platform ifland for
80 countries, also plans to launch a PC version of ifland in the second half of
this year, as well as Oculus Quest version in the year-end.
“We expect it will
take another five years to offer a fully immersive environment for users when
it comes to metaverse experience. We hope to see more contents providers
collaborating with service platforms,” said Lee Mi-yeon, Metaverse CO
partnership team leader at SK Telecom.
Also, the rise of
“Web 3.0,” a new decentralized internet backed by blockchain technology that is
responsible for cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens and metaverse, is highlighting
the need of the hyper-connective ecosystem.
“The shift to Web
3.0 will create basis for the new digital economy based on cryptocurrency and
NFTs --and digital lives represented by metaverse,” said Patrick Yoon, managing
director of Korea at Crypto.com.
The metaverse could
be a means of expressing the many side of self, a panel discussion showed at
Meta’s Steve Park
said people already have multiple personas and the metaverse is a platform to
express these multi-persona. Regarding side-effects, such as online crimes
using anonymity, Park said platform providers and related authorities should be
able to regulate that.
SK Telecom‘s Lee
echoed the view, saying the multiple avatars a person holds in the virtual
world open up chances to unleash a single person’s full potential.
“I don’t define a
person’s identity as one, as individuals have different positions at home or at
their office. Many say one’s identity is something that does not change,” Lee
“But is it really?
People find it to be more free on the metaverse as relationships do not get
defined there. People can create more than one identity, and a recent buzzword
‘secondary character’ has gone viral as well.”
But there could be
possible side effects of allowing a single person to have multiple avatars and
hiding his or her real identity.
This leads to a
discussion over the current lack of regulations in place to avoid any crimes
that could take place in the metaverse. Lee of SK Telecom said she anticipates
discussions among lawmakers to build a new legal framework, but there are still
constraints to what they can do until actual issues in the metaverse come up.
“We are preparing a
system internally to prevent any abnormal actions on the metaverse, as the law
cannot be based on the predictions of what could happen on the metaverse,” Lee
She added another
legal difficulty that the metaverse brings up would be the definition of a citizen,
which becomes obscure in the digital world.
Regulatory grey area
uncertainties also affect the way virtual assets are being traded in the
Mooni Kim, foreign
attorney at Kim & Chang, raised the need for a renovation in the regulatory
landscape for the metaverse, virtual assets and NFTs that are tradable on the
“No law that
actually exists can specifically govern what the metaverse is, whether in Korea
or anywhere else in the world,” Kim said. “Relying on existing laws shows
limitations as it has no consideration of current new innovations.”
assets and non-fungible tokens tradable on metaverse are regulated under the
Anti-Money Laundering Act which requires a de facto Virtual Asset Service
Providers license. The problem is that issuance of the license is very time-consuming
for businesses as it tends to take 10 months to one year to get prerequisites
to apply for it.
compromise a lot of businesses, especially in this fast-paced business
environment,” she said.
But the outlook for
regulatory reformation is promising as President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s agenda
includes drawing up new special law for metaverse and digital assets, and new
agency for regulating digital assets and related businesses.
“The transition is
real and is imminent,“ Kim said. ”Existing laws are not sufficient to take care
of new inventions coming forward and the question is how we are going to deal
with them. With the new incoming Yoon administration, I think we are looking at
a very exciting juncture in the field of metaverse regulations.”