The UK Still Has Big Plans for The Metaverse and Web3

The UK’s newly launched technology department will be tasked with formulating a strategy for the metaverse and web3.
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Last Updated on May 18, 2023

Quick take:

  • The new technology department has been asked to tackle the country’s metaverse and web3 strategy.
  • This comes just weeks after Andrew Griffith the Treasury’s economic secretary confirmed Royal Mint would not proceed with plans to process an NFT.
  • The new directive wants the technology department to explore business opportunities in Web3 and the metaverse, an anonymous source told CoinDesk.

The UK’s Department of Science, Innovation and Technology has been tasked with coming up with a strategy to explore opportunities in the metaverse and web3. The newly formed department will asses ways that the burgeoning industry can be used to spur economic growth through investment, as well as, the implications of regulation.

According to an individual familiar with the matter— who refused to be named— the UK’s Spring Budget, released in March indicated that the government wanted to “lead on the future of web technology, sometimes known as Web3 or the metaverse,” CoinDesk reported.

Institutionalised in February, the new technology department will be responsible for executing this mandate and rather than focusing on emerging technologies like blockchain and virtual reality, it will look to leverage economic and investment opportunities and business models associated with web3 and the metaverse to boost economic growth, the anonymous source said.

The UK government plans to back the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology with more than 370 million British pounds (~$463 million) to help develop the infrastructure required to explore opportunities in emerging technologies including quantum and supercomputing and artificial intelligence.

The report also comes on the heels of the government’s decision to cancel the Royal Mint NFT, which was announced by PM Rishi Sunak last April when he was exchequer to the treasury. 

On March 28, Andrew Griffith the Treasury’s economic secretary confirmed Royal Mint would not proceed with plans to process an NFT.

This appeared to put a hand-break on the UK’s pro-crypto stance, but based on recent developments, it looks more like a change in approach. Rather than launching NFTs and blockchain products, the government now seems to be more interested in exploring web3 and metaverse use cases that could help boost economic growth.


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