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Minecraft team says NFTs and blockchain are, well, blocked

Blockchain ‘does not align with Minecraft values of creative inclusion and playing together,’ Mojang says

Artwork of Minecraft featuring Steve and Alex emerging from a cave, surrounded by wildlife and zombies Image: Mojang/Microsoft
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Blockchain technologies and NFTs are not welcome in or around Minecraft, developer Mojang said Wednesday, in a statement that outlined the developer’s stance on how users can and (for the most part) cannot use their game. Mojang cited numerous concerns related to NFTs and using Minecraft to create and distribute them, including security issues, fraud, and establishing a precedent of haves and have-nots on Minecraft servers.

On the official Minecraft website, Mojang addressed players and creators “actively involved in the buying, selling, or trading of NFTs that make use of Minecraft (like skins or worlds)” to explain its stance on blockchain and NFTs in its game. The developer’s message was clear: “[B]lockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our client and server applications, nor may Minecraft in-game content such as worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods, be utilized by blockchain technology to create a scarce digital asset.”

The developer points out that some third-party companies are already trying to utilize Minecraft as the basis for creating and distributing NFTs, either through direct purchases or by earning them, in or out of the game. That’s a non-starter for Mojang, which says third-party NFTs “may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them.” The developer cited fraudulent sales and artificially inflated prices of the digital goods, and says rarity or exclusivity in Minecraft runs counter to its inclusive philosophy.

Mojang underscored its stance on blockchain and NFTs in Minecraft with the following guidance:

[To] ensure that Minecraft players have a safe and inclusive experience, blockchain technologies are not permitted to be integrated inside our Minecraft client and server applications nor may they be utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods. 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. However, we have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.

Amusingly, Twitter users’ immediate, vocal response to Mojang’s stance on NFTs was dread. Users who haven’t thoroughly read through the company’s statement expressed worry that official Minecraft NFTs were coming, and as they take in the full statement, they’re publicly breathing a sigh of relief that at least for now, Mojang has no such plans.

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