Romania, the sixth most populous state in the European Union, is making moves in Web3. Romania’s National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics (ICI Bucharest) just announced it’s launching an NFT trading platform that will go live on April 26th.
ICI D|Services, as the marketplace is being dubbed, aims to drive Web3 adoption in the country and create a link between public and private sector institutions and users. Users will be able to mint, hold, and trade NFTs on the NFT marketplace.
The project is backed by the Romanian Government through the Secretariat-General and the Romanian Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digitalization.
To develop the marketplace, ICI Bucharest partnered with MultiversX, a blockchain infrastructure provider, midway through 2022. The partnership includes the development of a decentralized Domain Name System (DNS) and Top-Level Domain (TLD) ecosystem.
In the past, ICI Bucharest has mainly focused on research and development, but over the past couple of years, it has shifted its attention to Web3 technologies.
According to Dr. Paul Niculescu-Mizil Gheorghe, ICI Bucharest’s blockchain laboratory coordinator, NFTs can be applied across a myriad of use cases, making them a valuable asset for institutions. He added that the institute aims to “create a bridge between the young generations and the public institutions values.”
The platform’s launch will feature NFT collections that were developed by prominent athletes, organizations, and institutions in Romania, including David Popovici, the 100-meter swimming freestyle world record holder, the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee, and Bucharest’s Central University Library — among others.
Gheorghe also said that blockchain technology can increase the efficiency of institutions across a myriad sectors, including health, education, land registration, transport, and supply chain management. For now, the new NFT marketplace is a chance to boost the country’s economic potential and foster an environment of innovation.
Countries Around the World Are Bullish on Web3
The government backed ICI D|Services marketplace is big news for Web3 users in the eastern European country, and for the NFT space as a whole. But this is far from the first story we’ve written about a country being bullish on Web3. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered several articles about countries investing in nascent technologies like NFTs, blockchain, and the metaverse. Here are the top stories.
Two months ago, Saudi Arabia announced a collaboration with The Sandbox metaverse. The non-binding agreement states both parties’ intentions for future metaverse development. It was signed at the Leap 2023 Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Next, six months ago, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) partnered with AI ecosystem Multiverse Labs to launch a metaverse city called the “Sharjaverse.” The Sharjaverse — a photorealistic and “physics accurate” virtual city that comprises the emirate’s 1,000 square mile area — aims to boost the regions tourism industry.
Finally, about a year ago, South Korea’s Ministry of ICT, Science, and Future Planning pledged $186.7 million to create a metaverse ecosystem to foster the growth of digital content and NFTs. The fund hopes to expand the virtual growth of virtual cities, education, and media in South Korea.
Not all countries are bullish on Web3 just yet, but as time goes by, more and more are getting onboard. We’ll keep an ear out for developing news about ICI Bucharest’s new NFT marketplace, but regardless the outcome, one thing is clear: Romania is on-board the Web3 train.
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