In the tranquil realm of Bhutan, a country that measures its success not by Gross Domestic Product but by Gross National Happiness, a digital renaissance is quietly taking shape. Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan, has unfurled the canvas of Bhutanverse, a Metaverse-based virtual space. This announcement, made at the FAB23 Bhutan International Conference, is akin to the first brushstroke on a blank canvas, marking Bhutan’s foray into the global Web3 landscape.

Bhutanverse, a collaborative masterpiece crafted with Singapore’s Smobler and The Sandbox, a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, is not merely a virtual space. It is a digital tapestry woven with threads of Bhutan’s rich culture, history, and philosophy. The motifs, art, and architecture that make Bhutan unique are intricately embroidered into this digital fabric.

Ujjwal Deep Dahal, the maestro at the helm of DHI, envisions Bhutanverse as a vibrant palette of cultural innovation and diversity. “The Bhutanverse will be a place where international and Bhutanese Web3 artists, developers, and architects can mix their creative hues,” Dahal said. “It will provide a platform for global audiences to engage with Bhutan’s rich heritage while also offering Bhutan’s digital communities a space to explore the vast spectrum of Web3 technologies.”

The Bhutanverse project aims to build knowledge and capacity, prompting the development of the metaverse’s ecosystem within Bhutan and globally. It seeks to grow a domestic metaverse community, open Bhutan to global metaverse and Web3 communities, and serve as a virtual lab for innovation.

The Bhutanverse will launch with an art gallery challenge, inviting artists to contribute their digital masterpieces. This initiative will foster the Bhutanverse and the wider metaverse ecosystem. The virtual gallery will host a curated collection of artworks by Bhutanese artists.

“Bhutanverse represents a significant leap into the virtual world, opening up new possibilities for young Bhutanese to leverage emerging Web3 technology,” Dahal added. “With Bhutanverse, DHI will empower individuals, businesses, and creators to shape the future of digital experiences.”

Loretta Chen, co-founder and CEO of Smobler, expressed excitement about the project’s potential to foster innovation and creativity. Sebastien BORGET, COO of The Sandbox, also expressed his support for the project, aiming to empower Bhutanese creators to monetize their talent and express their unique culture to the world.

As Bhutanverse grows, it will foster active collaboration between Bhutanese and global digital artists, students, and entrepreneurs, further solidifying Bhutan’s place in the global digital landscape.


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