Barbados: First Diplomatic Embassy To Open In Metaverse

The beach at Bathsheba, on the eastern coast of Barbados. The Caribbean nation is building an embassy in Decentraland — an online world, or metaverse, accessible through a computer and a virtual reality headset.(Dreamstime/TNS)
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All Americans recognize an “auto mall” as a grouping of big car dealers in the same complex. Now imagine a virtual “embassy row” in the metaverse where your avatar can visit to conduct official business with embassy avatars from your favorite nation. Barbados is claiming the first spot, but don’t expect sandy beaches and warm waters. ⁃ TN Editor

When Barbados, population 287,370, opens its next embassy, almost anyone on the planet will be able to knock on the door.

The diplomatic compound is being built in Decentraland, an online world, or metaverse, accessible through a computer and a virtual reality headset.

Skeptics take note: A plot of virtual real estate in Decentraland recently sold for $2.43 million. Gucci, Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren are selling virtual clothing in 3D worlds. The crypto asset management firm Grayscale estimates the metaverse is “a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity.”

So a virtual embassy row seems inevitable, said Gabriel Abed, the man behind Barbados’ digital-diplomacy push.

“This is going to change the way the world works,” Abed, 35, said in a telephone interview from Dubai, where he is Barbados’ real-world ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. “The embassy is a small thing. The big thing is what governments can do together when land is no longer physical land and limitations are no longer part of the equation.”

Even before Facebook changed its name to Meta in October, the so-called metaverse was growing quickly.

In broad strokes, a metaverse is an online and immersive environment where people can interact in real time through avatars. Decentraland allows users to buy and sell digital art and virtual parcels of land, or attend virtual-world music festivals with real-world acts.

But Abed said the metaverse also has more serious implications for small, deeply indebted nations like his.

“This is about diplomatic parity. We simply cannot support 197 diplomatic missions around the world,” he said. “We recognize that we’re a 166-square mile island — we’re tiny — but in the metaverse we’re as large as America or Germany.”

Barbados’ diplomatic compound will likely cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 to build, but all the expenses are being covered by a “five-figure” grant from Decentraland. Other users on the site have also offered to donate land, he said.

“The cost is not too bad,” he said. “It’s a fraction of what a physical embassy costs.”

Emails to Decentraland seeking comment were not immediately answered.

The project is also about keeping the Eastern Caribbean island connected to global tech, Abed said.

“You don’t want to be introducing the internet to your citizens in the year 2021,” he said. “Similarly of the metaverse, you don’t want to wait until 2030, when this thing is part of everyday social interaction, to start explaining it.”

The announcement that Barbados was poised to open the world’s first metaverse embassy earned the island reams of glowing press ahead of Nov. 30, when it ditched Queen Elizabeth II as its symbolic head of state and became the world’s newest republic.

It’s no surprise that the Caribbean is leading the digital diplomacy push, said Cleve Mesidor, public policy adviser at the Blockchain Association, an industry trade group based in Washington, D.C.

Bermuda has been actively pitching itself as a blockchain and crypto hub since 2018. Bahamas launched the world’s first central bank digital currency in 2020 — just weeks ahead of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

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About the Author

Patrick Wood
Patrick Wood is a leading and critical expert on Sustainable Development, Green Economy, Agenda 21, 2030 Agenda and historic Technocracy. He is the author of Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation (2015) and co-author of Trilaterals Over Washington, Volumes I and II (1978-1980) with the late Antony C. Sutton.
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Brett A Gleason

Greed just drank Suntan’s piss. Only a Satanic mind could dream up such bullshit and Satan’s piss to make people believe and participate in it.
This is the way the elites think. They truly believe that if they put numbers up showing huge investments in nothing world the rest will follow and knowing the human greed factor they’re probably correct.

Michelle

How does buying into the Metaverse and making a shitload of money fit with the ‘you shall own nothing and be happy” technocratic agenda?

I’ve really enjoyed your books Patrick but I do feel they are thin on understanding the psyche of your subjects. It’s led to demonisation and duality and violence. Perhaps left and right always meet as opposite lines bending into a circle ⭕️. No wonder the false unity is being touted because not many have actually sought to find the real Oneness .

Last edited 5 months ago by Michelle