- Minecraft said today that it would not allow the use of NFTs and blockchain technology on its in-game servers.
- The development team cited concerns around equality of access and the speculative nature of the NFT market.
- Minecraft developers at Climate Replay previously expressed concerns around the environmental impact of NFTs.
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Server owners can charge for access, but they cannot use non-fungible tokens.
Minecraft Rejects NFT Integration
Minecraft is refusing to integrate NFTs.
In a Wednesday announcement, the gaming company said that “integrations of NFTs with Minecraft are generally not something we will support or allow.”
It added that blockchain technologies are not permitted on its client and server applications and that in-game content and mods cannot be used to “create a scarce digital asset.”
Minecraft noted that server owners could charge for server access but said that all players should have the same experience. NFTs are in conflict with this goal as the technology “can create models of scarcity and exclusion,” it argued.
The team also warned of the speculative nature of NFT prices, suggesting that NFTs “may end up costing players who buy them.” It also warned of fraud and price inflation.
Minecraft noted that various third-party companies have already launched non-fungible tokens associated with the game, including NFTs distributed for playing on game servers and NFTs for completing tasks outside the game.
While the team may be unable to control the use of NFTs off-platform, it said that these projects do “not align with [our] values of creative inclusion and playing together.”
Ecological Concerns Raised Earlier
Minecraft did not mention any concerns about the environmental impact of NFTs in today’s announcement.
However, Climate Replay—a group consisting largely of Minecraft developers—published a petition in April that addressed the issue. There, Climate Replay called NFTs “intentionally inefficient” with a “concrete, significant environmental impact” and an “unnecessary expenditure of physical resources.”
Most NFTs are circulated on Ethereum, which uses about 78 TWh of energy per year to process transactions. Though some companies have chosen to use second-layer networks with lower energy demands, the issue remains a concern for many.
As such, Minecraft’s opposition to NFTs covers almost all grounds, from accessibility to the environment.
Not all hope is lost for NFT fans, though. Surprisingly, Minecraft owner Microsoft partnered with Enjin last year on a project that involved Minecraft-integrated NFTs. Those efforts could pave the way for a more refined policy in the future.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.