BARBADOS PLANS TO DEVELOP OUT OF THIS WORLD
Barbados Is Opening a Diplomatic Embassy in the Metaverse
When Barbados, population 287,370, opens its next embassy, almost anyone on the planet will be able to knock on the door.
The diplomatic compound is being built in Decentraland, an online world, or metaverse, accessible through a computer and a virtual reality headset.
Skeptics take note: A plot of virtual real estate in Decentraland recently sold for $2.43 million. Gucci, Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren are selling virtual clothing in 3D worlds. The crypto asset management firm Grayscale estimates the metaverse is “a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity.”
So, a virtual embassy-row seems inevitable, said Gabriel Abed, the man behind Barbados’ digital-diplomacy push.
“This is going to change the way the world works,” Abed, 35, said in a telephone interview from Dubai, where he’s Barbados’ real-world ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. “The embassy is a small thing. The big thing is what governments can do together when land is no longer physical land and limitations are no longer part of the equation.”
Even before Facebook changed its name to Meta in October, the so-called metaverse was growing quickly.
In broad strokes, a metaverse is an online and immersive environment where people can interact in real-time through avatars. Decentraland allows users to buy and sell digital art and virtual parcels of land or attend virtual-world music festivals with real-world acts.