Minecraft Gives Its Verdict Regarding the Inclusion Of NFTs

What are NFTs and the blockchain?

NFTs or simply Non-fungible tokens have been around for a while now. This term is especially common among the crypto community, however, most people are not aware of it. NFTs are digital assets, say a picture, a video game, a video of your favourite meme from the 2000s. What separates NFTs as a digital good is the fact that they rely on the blockchain technology.

You can think of blockchain as a record, an index that keeps a track of all liabilities, assets and transactions under someone’s possession or made by someone. How is it ‘different’, you may ask? Blockchain records cannot be changed in any way or form, how so you may ask again. Basically, the blockchain relies on heavy encryption and is decentralized, meaning it is not controlled by any entity thus, rendering all forms of illicit changing impossible.

The concept on paper sounds really ‘sci-fi’ and future proof and it actually is, however, the main idea was to secure transcations.

The Main concept behind NFTs

NFTs are merly images or pictures under someone’s possession as verified by the blockchain. The idea here is that ‘you own that picture, literally’, because any change made to even a single pixel alters the hash code giving you the premium feel of ‘owning’ that very asset.

Every image has a hash code based on the position of the pixels and the colours used. A change in even a single pixel modifies the code , however, such changes to the image are invisible to see for the naked eye.

A major problem

The problem starts to evolve because people do not use this blockchain based technology for actual ‘safety’ but to earn more money placing these digital art based NFTs at tens of thousands of dollars.

What’s worse is that anyone on the internet can create an exact replica and no one will be able to tell the difference. The only difference will be that the NFT owner will have that exact ‘hash code’. Many crypto users have tried to give explanations, but the inevitable fact still persists that you can simply right click and save. This video from Matthew Weathers, gives a great explanation regarding the changes in the hash code and encryption.

Minecraft’s stance on NFTs

Many companies have declared publicly whether their games support NFTs or not. The gaming community isn’t particularly interested in NFTs giving it the title of a simple ‘cash grab‘. NFTs can be literally anything ranging from a weapon skin to an entire generated world.

Minecraft in a lengthy statement officially announced that transactions are allowed on servers to earn a profit provided that the same content is accessible to all other players, including those that do not wish to pay for that specific content/feature. NFTs create a concept of scarcity which is not in line with Mojang’s policies.

Blockchain run assets also pose the potential threat of scams leading to unwanted outrage and losses. 

We are also concerned that some third-party NFTs may not be reliable and may end up costing players who buy them. Some third-party NFT implementations are also entirely dependent on blockchain technology and may require an asset manager who might disappear without notice. There have also been instances where NFTs were sold at artificially or fraudulently inflated prices. We recognize that creation inside our game has intrinsic value, and we strive to provide a marketplace where those values can be recognized. 

~ Microsoft 

Then to put the final nail in the coffin for the crypto community, Minecraft stated not to allow any support for crypto based assets in their game and launcher, outright banning it.

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

~ Microsoft 

Why exactly did Minecraft ban crypto assets?

The answer to the above question is simple. Minecraft’s target audience is children. When exposed to buzzwords such as ‘crypto‘, ‘blockchain‘, etc, of course, children will be intrigued to purchase those assets. The assets could be texture packs , skins , mod packs all of which are reproducible.

This could have led to children wasting tens of thousands of dollars on some crypto item which may have been a scam because remember, Minecraft doesn’t directly regulate its servers.

Considering the fact that kids play this game, an inclusion of crypto might have been no more than a cash grab and profiteering off kids. As for other games having mature audiences, crypto can be implented provided adequate safety measures are undertaken, however, it would have been a rather tedious job for Minecraft.

A beacon of hope

Minecraft stated;

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.

~ Microsoft 

For the crypto community, some hope is still present. There’s a possibility that if crypto currencies become safer in the future—provided NFTs don’t cost a fortune—while not brining an imbalance to Minecraft’s asset division, Mojang may just consider adding them to the game. Till then, however, the verdict is final.

Abdullah Faisal
With a love for computers since the age of give, Abdullah has always sought to delve into the depths of information, and uses it as his guiding light. He believes success is of utmost importance as history is written by the victor.