Minecraft bans NFTs and blockchain

While operating as a hub for emerging blockchain and NFT projects in the past, Minecraft has announced that it is banning both from its ecosystem this week.

In a blog post this week, Mojang Studios cited a difference in core values as the reasoning behind the ban:

“In our Minecraft Usage Guidelines, we outline how a server owner can charge for access, and that all players should have access to the same functionality. We have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs, however, can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our Guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft.”

The company’s decision places it in the same ranks as Steam, the latter having banned digital assets and blockchain from its platform recently. In addition to the speculative and exclusive nature of NFTs, several developers had previously raised concerns over security and the potential of these digital assets influencing user behaviours in-game.

With that said, the decision comes off less as an irrevocable step away from blockchain but a conservative approach to integration. Continuing on, the post explains this watchful stance towards blockchain, with a possible desire to integrate it in the future.

“We will also be paying close attention to how blockchain technology evolves over time to ensure that the above principles are withheld and determine whether it will allow for more secure experiences or other practical and inclusive applications in gaming.”

Of course, this doesn’t provide a salve for projects already operating on Minecraft.

So what does this mean for blockchain projects on Minecraft?

While the announcement detailed the reasoning for the ban, it was light on details on whether there would be a time frame for blockchain projects already operating on its servers. But, given the investing dimension of NFTs – the impact has been swift for projects on Minecraft.

Case in point, Vice reported that NFT Worlds saw its digital asset values plummet as users clearly sought to cut their losses and leave. At the time of their reporting, NFTs saw a 70 per cent drop in values.

The dev team took to Twitter to give their response and plan to pivot in light of this news.

According to NFT Worlds, there does appear to be more of a collaborative attitude from Minecraft and Microsoft, which should enable some flexibility.

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