Wuhan Drops NFTs from Metaverse Masterplan

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  • Wuhan has edited its metaverse masterplan to exclude NFTs
  • The city’s new metaverse vision now revolves around Web 3.0 and other decentralized technologies
  • Wuhan plans to use the metaverse to resuscitate its economy which received a huge blow from the coronavirus pandemic

China’s Hubei province capital Wuhan has edited its metaverse master plan and excluded NFTs, likely due to the country’s negative view of tradable blockchain-based assets. The city will however maintain its vision to heavily invest in decentralized technology and Web 3.0, intending to tap into the metaverse to resuscitate its economy which was shredded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Blockchain ‘Yes’, NFTs ‘No’

According to leading Chinese publication SCMP, the omission of NFTs from the city’s plans was likely influenced by the country’s appetite for blockchain technology but not assets powered by the same technology. The city’s August release of its metaverse development plan for the next three years included a desire to seek investments and attract business “in areas such as NFTs.”

The new metaverse manifesto now focuses on Web 3.0 and a roadmap to birth two industrial estates in the virtual world in the next three years, with NFTs now expunged. Wuhan also wants to have over 200 companies focusing on the metaverse before the end of 2025.

NFT Scammers Hardened China’s Heart

The removal of NFTs from Wuhan’s metaverse development plans aligns with the government’s stance on suppressing blockchain-powered digital collectibles. For example, while major Chinese cities like Shanghai have expressed an interest in touring the virtual world, the country has stepped in to discourage non-governmental entities from including NFTs in their Web 3.0 exploration missions. 

But this wasn’t always the case. Earlier this year, the government had tried to support the NFT industry, but a rise in malicious activities involving the asset class forced it to rethink its stand. With NFTs being fronted as an integral component of the metaverse, it’s unclear whether the Chinese government will openly embrace NFTs.