Nanjing University of Information Science Technology has taken a significant step in its quest to be a distributed ledger technology (DLT) hub as it renames its Information Technology department after the metaverse.
Under the School of Artificial Intelligence, the department changed its name to the Department of Metaverse Engineering after prior deliberation by members of the institution’s governing council. Dean of the School of Artificial Intelligence, Zhigeng Pan, noted that the decision was the first of its kind in mainland China that a faculty will be named after the metaverse.
Details of the curriculum of the newly named department remain unclear, but Zhigeng noted that it will train master, doctoral, and postdoctoral students in different areas of the metaverse. Gleaning from Zhigeng’s speech to reporters, the Department of Metaverse Engineering will focus on metaverse research and identifying new applications for the technology that will be integral in providing a deep talent pool for firms in the ecosystem.
The university had previously entered into an agreement with Yalong Intelligent Equipment Group to set up a Metaverse Research Institute.
The institution’s moves in the metaverse are part of the global race towards the development of the industry. The metaverse has been described as the next iteration of the Internet, leveraging distributed ledgers to create a virtual world for users. Given the heightened interest in the metaverse, Citi predicted that the metaverse could surpass $10 trillion.
“We estimate, in the report, the target addressable market (TAM) for the metaverse economy to be in the range of $10 trillion-plus,” remarked Ronit Ghose, Global Head of Banking, Fintech & Digital Assets. “Expert contributors to the report indicate a range of users of up to five billion” depending on whether mobile phone users are considered part of the count.
China’s tango with the metaverse
China latched onto the metaverse with enthusiasm that baffled pundits since the country’s regulators had imposed a blanket ban on digital assets. In fact, Chinese-based Pony Ma had publicly disclosed its extensive plans for the metaverse, called Quan Zhen, months before Meta (NASDAQ: MEA) made its big reveal.
Chinese tech giants like Tencent, Huawei, and Epic Games have also laid bare plans for their versions of the metaverse in collaboration with some of the country’s educational institutions.
Apart from private efforts, the Chinese government is also making significant strides in metaverse development. Local governments in Beijing and Shanghai have previously announced plans to use the metaverse to trigger economic growth in their cities. However, not all regional governments share the same stance on the metaverse.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, Masters of the Metaverse
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