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Did South Korea Just ‘Sentence Blockchain Gaming to Death’?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

South Korean gaming industry representatives say that the government may have doomed blockchain gaming to oblivion – after a regulator banned Infinity Star, a game that makes use of Ethereum ERC 721 Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Source: iStock/MatiasEnElMundo

Late last week, the Game Rating and Administration Committee (GRAC) – the South Korean body tasked with policing the country’s gaming industry – denied a rating to Infinity Star, a game developed by domestic company NodeBrick. Games that do not receive a GRAC rating cannot be distributed in South Korea.

Per NSPNA, the GRAC stated that the problem was that items accrued by players could be bought, sold and traded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Blockchain consultant Mira Kim told,

“Many domestic gaming companies have already put a lot of money into gaming dapps (decentralized apps), anticipating that the government’s position on cryptocurrencies would actually be softening in the future. Honestly, I don’t know where this decision leaves them.”

Other analysts went further. Fn News quotes an unnamed industry insider as stating that the GRAC has effectively “sentenced blockchain gaming to death.”

Although the GRAC admitted it was powerless to stop South Korean users playing blockchain games released by overseas developers, it would appear that the government has all but closed the door to blockchain gaming for the country’s USD 5 billion-a-year gaming industry.

The GRAC responded by stating, “This decision is not a total ban on games that use blockchain technology.”

But another industry insider, again quoted by Fn, stated,

“If NFT items are a problem, blockchain gaming’s death warrant has already been signed.”

For its part, NodeBrick says it hopes to appeal the decision, and said, “It’s a pity that there seems to have bee a misunderstanding about Infinity Star.”