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Opinion: The Embassy In The Metaverse Of Barbados Is Useless

Barbados announced that it has plans to create an embassy in the metaverse, futuristic action, or populist measure?.

Barbados map

Barbados has plans to be the first country with an embassy in the metaverse. Photo: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: Opinión: La embajada en el metaverso de Barbados no sirve para nada

Recently, Coindesk published an article saying that Barbados has plans to be the first country with an embassy in the metaverse. According to the outlet, the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade signed an agreement with Decentraland, a virtual reality company that sells land as non-fungible tokens.

According to this article, their joint project would have the purpose of “helping to identify and buy land, design virtual embassies, and consulates, develop facilities to provide services such as“ electronic visas ” and build a“ teleporter ”that will allow users to transport their avatars. between the different worlds. "

The Barbados ambassador to the United Arab Emirates also recently mentioned that the action is taken to expand diplomatic missions beyond the 18 it currently has (Barbados) with more than 190 countries around the world. This allows us to open the door, using technological diplomacy, which then extends to cultural diplomacy: the trade-in art, music, and culture. ”

Also read: Noise Pollution of Cryptocurrencies: A Problem that Worries

But what is the point?

The proposal to make an embassy in the metaverse is like adding a new coat of paint to a car chassis that does not have tires and an engine. We are seeing it everywhere, the “metaverse”, the “blockchain” and the “TNFs” have become buzzwords.

Broadly speaking, in real life, embassies have five functions:

  • Promote peaceful cooperation and collaboration between the host state and the foreign country.
  • It acts as a symbol of cooperation and diplomacy between the host state and the foreign country.
  • Take care of the interests of citizens in host countries.
  • Do cultural exchange with the host country.
  • Grant passports.

As for the first two points. Why would it be in Barbados' interest to promote peaceful relations with a virtual world that only a fraction of the population uses? Wouldn't it be better to spend those resources on strengthening diplomatic relations with existing nations? A key factor is the lack of population that would really benefit from this embassy. Decentraland ranges from 200-1000 active users per day, a very poor number for a virtual world. To compare Roblox, a game that is also based on a virtual world has more than 43.2 million active users per day.

As for the other 3 points, they are best served by a royal embassy or even a well-designed website. It is millions of times easier to spread culture on the Internet than in an almost unknown digital world. An official page to process a passport is much more efficient and accessible than visiting a virtual world to carry out the same procedure. Nobody, and repeat, nobody can ask for asylum in a virtual embassy, how would it work?

In short, you have to call the Barbados embassy in the metaverse what it is. An advertising accolade to the blockchain that will cost taxpayers money and nothing more.