Skip to content

UK Now Has Technology Department to Tackle Metaverse and Web3 Strategy

The metaverse and Web3 strategy of the UK will be addressed by the country’s new Technology department.

The UK’s new Department of Science, Innovation and Technology will take care of the country's metaverse and Web3 strategy. Along with looking into the potential regulatory effects, the department will also study the chances of economic growth, investment prospects, and business opportunities. In its March announcement of the country’s Spring Budget for 2023, the government declared its intention to “lead on the future of web technology, sometimes known as Web3 or the metaverse.”

The UK government plans to allocate over 370 million British pounds (approximately $463 million) to support the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology in developing the infrastructure necessary for exploring opportunities in emerging technologies such as quantum and supercomputing, as well as artificial intelligence.

The news comes on the heels of the government’s decision to cancel the Royal Mint NFT, which was announced by the current PM Rishi Sunak last April when he was Exchequer to the Treasury. A bit of back story on the Royal Mint NFT. In April 2022, the Treasury had asked the Mint to create the token. At the time, it said it “shows the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards crypto assets in the UK”.

However, 12 months later there was little to show: The Mint did not produce a visualisation of what the proposed non-fungible token would look like, or any technical explanation of how it would work, what it would offer users, and what blockchain infrastructure it would be built on. Just a few weeks after a slow-motion crisis has embroiled the sector, with FTX, Celsius, Voyager and Genesis filing for bankruptcy alongside crypto-focused banks Silvergate and Signature and Binance, the leading crypto exchange, facing an investigation from US regulators. So, on March 28, Andrew Griffith the Treasury’s economic secretary confirmed Royal Mint would not proceed with plans to process an NFT.

This situation 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. We continue to observe.