In what’s being reported as “a historic step”, Barbados is preparing to become the first sovereign nation with an embassy in the metaverse.

According to a press release shared with CoinDesk, the tiny Caribbean island has announced a partnership with one of the original and largest blockchain-built worlds, Decentraland (MANA), to make the concept a reality.

The Barbadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade signed the agreement with the crypto futurists on Sunday and is reportedly also finalising agreements with several other metaverse-focused, crypto-powered platforms, including Somnium Space and SuperWorld.

According to the report, the various crypto projects will assist the Barbadian government department with identifying and purchasing suitable plots of land, building the virtual embassies and consulates, developing services to facilitate “e-visas” and creating a “teleporter” to transport avatars between the different digital worlds.

Barbados’ ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Gabriel Abed, told CoinDesk that the nation intends to “expand aggressively” to build structures and purchase digital land in a variety of virtual worlds.

“The idea is not to pick a winner – the metaverse is still very young and new, and we want to make sure what we build is transferable across the metaworlds,” he said.

The release of the embassy in Decentraland is reportedly scheduled for January, which will make Barbados the world’s first country to recognise digital sovereign land.


MANA’s strong moves

Decentraland’s MANA, meanwhile, is one of several metaverse and gaming-focused crypto tokens that have been performing particularly well ever since Facebook Inc. rebranded itself to Meta in October.

Prior to its name change, Facebook announced a US$50 million investment focus on building out its metaverse and virtual reality plans. It’s a move much of decentralised-focused crypto world remains sceptical about for the moment, however.

Other recent top performers in the crypto metaverse category include Axie Infinity, Enjin, The Sandbox and Illuvium.

MANA is up about 17 per cent over the past week, 336 per cent across the past 30 days, and a growth-spurting 4,760 per cent over the past 12 months – the sort of returns that aren’t exactly uncommon in the crypto world, especially this year.