Yat Siu, co-founder of Crypto/NFT fund giant Animoca Brands, called the recent Minecraft NFT ban “hypocritical” and asserted that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be universal, despite arguments to the contrary.
As previously reported, Minecraft developers Mojang Studios announced the blocking of all NFT integrations into the game on Wednesday. The company stated that NFTs were against their values, as they promote price speculation, scarcity, exclusion, and potential rug-pulling.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Siu expressed his frustration with Mojang Studios, given the context in which NFTs were integrated with Minecraft prior to the ban.
Projects like NFT Worlds have been using open source Minecraft servers to host a metaverse platform that has crypto and NFT ecosystems built around it. The project appears to be relatively popular, given that it has generated over $80 million in NFT turnover and claims to have around 100,000 players.
The co-founder of Animoca Brands noted that he found it hypocritical for Minecraft to exclude a small portion of its user base, considering that the company stated that it values ”inclusion” and suggested NFT integration into games leads to exclusion:
“The overall perspective is that this is hypocrisy, the NFT did not harm anyone in Minecraft, it is very clear that they are in the minority. This was not a decision about actual evidence of harm, it was a preferential decision, completely based on opinion.”
“They didn’t cite evidence, they didn’t even properly refer to what NFTs were, and they didn’t speak to NFT Worlds,” he added.
While Siu acknowledges that many in the traditional gaming community don’t want anything to do with NFTs, generally out of fear that games will become over-earned and “less fair”. In this case, users had the option to play in NFT-affiliated servers or not, and there were no NFT integrations imposed on regular Minecraft users.
Siu emphasized that excluding minority opinions means “you actually harm the whole of society and stifle its growth.”
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Regarding NFTs being inclusive, Siu argues that NFT technology or digital ownership itself does not promote inclusion or exclusion, rather, it is about how the technology is deployed to enhance community value.
He noted that in the right contexts, NFTs in games or the Metaverse can offer users a redistribution of the platform’s economy and power. In Siu’s view, NFT enables users to own a token stake in their preferred platforms which can then be used in the way users see fit, unlike the Web2 model where users are not offered ownership of their content and data:
“What NFT does is redistribute the economies of players who add value to the game which also has the same effect of decentralizing and redistributing power dynamics within games. [So] allowing more freedom and power for the community rather than just a community.”
“Property rights and freedoms are intertwined, and the next natural evolution is digital property rights to either enhance or produce true digital freedom,” he added.