Almost half of Singaporeans are wary of metaverse technology

metaverse technology
Image by LuMaxArt | Bigstockphoto

Singapore has been a leader in technological innovation and adoption since its independence, but some of its citizens have surprisingly mixed views about metaverse technology.

In a recent report, data company Milieu surveyed 6,000 individuals from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. On average, 72% of respondents welcome metaverse technology. Respondents from the Philippines are most interested in the metaverse, while respondents from Vietnam expressed the most excitement.

In Singapore, however, only 56% of respondents feel positive about it, and many feel uncertain about the metaverse, despite expressing some form of interest.

This may come as a surprise, but recent pronouncements and regulations from the government may have led to a more cautious stance among Singaporeans.

Last week, Singapore authorities issued a warning to residents about NFT and metaverse investments, emphasizing that the country will cautiously embrace cryptocurrencies.

The Singaporean government is “closely studying” the characteristics and risks of blockchain, decentralized finance, NFTs, and the metaverse, according to Josephine Teo, the country’s minister for communications and information.

This comes after Binance Asia Service, a subsidiary of crypto exchange Binance in Singapore, pulled out its application for a cryptocurrency exchange license. It plans to shut down operations in Singapore by February 13.

Furthermore, in December, Nikkei Asia reported that of 170 Singaporean businesses that had applied to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a digital payment token license, more than 100 were denied or withdrawn.

“The government will seek to balance between promoting economic vitality, preserving social stability and protecting public security in the digital domain,” said minister of transport S. Iswaran in a recent parliamentary sitting, while stressing the need for those involved to be responsible as they participate in the metaverse.

Over the last several months, developments in the NFT industry as well as DeFi have highlighted investors’ vulnerability to rug pulls — a fraud in which project creators abscond with investors’ money.

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