Tech-savvy nation-states like South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates race to plant their flag in the metaverse, making hundreds of millions of dollars worth of technology investments.

But how do you measure real-life success — the effectiveness of such massive investments — in a world that hardly exists?

Dubai thinks it has the answer announced last week at its “Dubai Metaverse Assembly” that the emirate will now track its “Gross Metaverse Product”.

What, one might ask, will this metric consist of? Details are still vague, with the minister saying only that Dubai “will be able to generate billions of dollars in revenue from Dubai without people physically being in the emirate, but experiencing it in the meta-universe”, and the GMP will include tourism, retail, real estate and government services, among others.

The thrust of nation-states into the metaverse may seem similar to the promises of companies like Procter & Gamble or Creative Artists Agency, which launched ambitious institutional projects of the metauniverse mainly to demonstrate their desire to maintain their companies’ technological superiority. According to some observers, this is largely the case.

“I see the proposed Gross Metaverse Product as a smart marketing strategy,” said Louis Rosenberg, computer scientist and founder of the company Unanimous AI. “For countries where tourism and entertainment make up a significant proportion of GDP, being able to represent how much of that comes from the meta-universe as GMP seems useful.”

It may seem strange to come up with national criteria for a virtual world that is inherently transnational. But politicians would probably welcome a concrete way to show the return on their growing investment in the sector.

South Korea announced investment in over $170 million into the meta universe earlier this year, aimed both at creating jobs related to its development and virtual platforms for city services. Saudi Arabia is pumping out millions of dollars in the gamenot least because the industry is there already in the center of a nascent metauniverse (consider Microsoft The $70 billion acquisition of Activision earlier this yeara move he called buying a stake in the metaverse).

In a world that is now more hype than reality, the hype factor of announcements like Dubai is irrelevant.

“What’s important here, I think, is the narrative they’re trying to establish,” said Jonathan Raz Friedman, founder and CEO of metagame company Supersocial and co-host of Bloomberg’s “Into the Metaverse” podcast. “[It’s] the story of forward-looking Dubai, a nation-state that catches the technological shift early to establish itself as a pioneer of the new virtual economy.”

Anyone familiar with the visionary schemes of the UAE, and Dubai in particular, knows that Emirati leaders have in the past pursued the latest, with at least some success. The Gulf state has built a modern skyscraper economy out of a series of old fishing villages, while Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is a laboratory for clean energy and technological innovation – constantly iterating, experimenting and rethinking its ambitions for how technology and society interact with each other.

But when it comes to the future, it’s hard to know what to bet on. More than ten years of existence of Masdar’s the future is still in doubt. And there are entire websites dedicated to Dubai’s empty islands, suspended “city” and more luxurious but undeveloped projects.

Will a metaworld game join their ranks? it is possible But then again, in a growing virtual world, there will be much less friction between ambition and reality. The new statistics may end up looking more far-fetched than desirable.

“Eventually we won’t be focusing on the difference between our physical environment and the layers of virtual content that are seamlessly added to our daily experience,” said Rosenberg, who believes that less intrusive augmented reality technology is a more likely vehicle for a metaverse. “At that point it will just be GDP.”

The US is moving, albeit slowly, to act on cryptopolitics – but a major global financial regulator may get there first.

The Financial Stability Board, a standard-setting body assembled after the 2008 financial crisis, plans to announce a plan to regulate crypto next week in Washington at the Group of 20 meeting, POLITICO’s Bjarke Smit-Meyer said. reported today for Pro subscribers. Steven Major, the governor of the Netherlands’ central bank who was instrumental in developing the plan, told Bjarke that crypto should largely be subject to the same rules that govern traditional markets — “not just securities,” as Major put it. but also “anti-money laundering laws and regulations”.

For those keeping score at home: This plan comes after the recent Biden administration crypto frameworkFSOC this week report and recommendations for crypto regulation, numerous proposed crypto bills on Capitol Hill, and the EU is moving full speed ahead with its MiCA crypto regulation, which plans to discuss with US regulators during next week’s IMF and World Bank meetings.

In a global marketplace, reconciling all these proposed regulations can be as difficult as figuring out what they say in the first place.

Could BTS’ “stand-up” inoculate you against misinformation?

Once disinformation spreads online, it can be stubbornly difficult to weed out. But fans of the world’s most popular K-pop group seem to be surprisingly immune, at least when it comes to their favorite group.

A group of disinformation researchers conducted “virtual ethnography and semi-structured interviews with 34 Twitter users from the ARMY fandom, a global community of fans who support the Korean music group BTS,” and published their results in a disinformation review by the Harvard Kennedy School last week.

By examining the types of misinformation fans encounter in their community and how they respond to it, researchers found that the very traits that make such fan communities such rabid defenders of their idols—and surprisingly effective political actors — make them resistant to information classified as false, such as “rumors about BTS members and misinterpretations due to the translation of materials into different languages.”

These traits, namely a “strong sense of community” and “common purpose”, are what any state or politician would strive to inspire in its followers. Of course, it’s one thing to verify or debunk “misinformation” about a certain celebrity’s romantic life; complex philosophical questions and value judgments that our politics are a bit more demanding.

But understanding the underlying mechanisms by which information moves online and is processed is an important part of navigating our current politics in its own right, and it’s no surprise that a cultural force as loud and ubiquitous as BTS fandom provides a handy vehicle for doing so.

Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Schreckinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Steve Heuser ([email protected]); and Benton Ives ([email protected]). Follow us @DigitalFuture on Twitter.

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