Parliament Sitting on 11 January 2022

QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER


28. Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) how prevalent are new frontiers of technology such as Metaverse and non-fungible tokens in real-life applications in Singapore; (b) whether the Government has plans to regulate such technologies; and (c) how can regulations be administered considering the borderless nature of virtual reality.

Answer:

1. New technologies such as the Metaverse and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are at a nascent stage of development, especially in terms of their translation to real or physical world applications. Alongside related technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, blockchain and decentralised financing, the Metaverse and NFTs present potential for people and businesses to extend their activities and asset ownership into the virtual world. 

2. As these technologies are still at relatively early stages of application, it remains to be seen how they will be structured and organised. The Government is closely studying their characteristics and attendant implications and risks. For example, the immersive, interactive, decentralised or anonymity elements of these technologies have the potential to be harnessed to either strengthen or pose risks to online safety, consumer protection, privacy, and protection of intellectual property. 

3. Similar to the physical world, the Government will seek to balance between promoting economic vitality, preserving social stability and protecting public security in the digital domain. International coordination of regulatory approaches to the Metaverse and associated technologies will also be crucial, given the borderless nature of these technologies. 

4. Beyond government intervention, industry players and individual users must also play their part by participating responsibly in the Metaverse and exercising caution in dealing with NFTs and digital assets, even as they seek to seize opportunities. 
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