While some global economies got distracted by the commotion around price instability and ecosystem collapses in crypto, South Korea doubled down on the potential of the metaverse as a new economic growth engine.

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced investments into a fund dedicated to driving metaverse initiatives in the country. According to the official announcement, the South Korean government invested roughly $18.1 million (24 billion Korean won) with the goal of creating a fund of more than 40 billion Korean won (approximately $30.2 million) toward metaverse development.

With the help of the Metaverse Fund, South Korea will support the mergers and acquisitions of various firms from the metaverse ecosystem. The government sufficed this move by highlighting the rising interest of major tech companies in Metaverse.

Related: South Korea to examine crypto staking services following the Kraken case

The government agrees that considering the underlying investment risks, it is difficult for local players to raise capital through private investments. As a result, in addition to mergers and acquisitions, South Korea intends to help domestic metaverse-related companies compete with global players, adding that “we plan to actively support it.”

Metaverse Seoul screenshots. Source: opengov.seoul.go.kr

In January, the city of Seoul launched a digital replica of the city in the metaverse. As Cointelegraph reported, the South Korean government spent roughly 2 billion won — $1.6 million — for the first phase of the metaverse project.

However, in the physical world, South Korea continues to keep checks and balances on cross-border threats. In February, the country announced its first independent sanctions related to cryptocurrency thefts and cyberattacks against specific North Korean groups and individuals.