The developer of Minecraft has banned NFTs from the game, saying they are against its values of inclusivity.

Mojang Studios’ decade-old creation is the most popular videogame of all time, shifting 238 million copies. Its open sandbox gives players free reign to create worlds and experiences. It is particularly popular with children.

“NFTs are not inclusive of all our community and create a scenario of the haves and have-nots,” a statement read.

“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 utilised to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods.”

Highlighting concerns around quality control, fraud and NFTs sold at artificially inflated values, Mojang also said that the profiteering mindset around NFTs would tarnish players’ long-term enjoyment of the game.

Adding that it would pay “close attention” to how the technology evolves, it stated clearly: “We have no plans of implementing blockchain technology into Minecraft right now.”

Some companies and creators have launched NFT products associated with Minecraft world files and skin packs. Mojang also cited the creation of Minecraft collectible NFTs, which allow players to earn NFTs through activities in a server, or earning Minecraft NFT rewards for activities outside of the game.

It said these activities “create digital ownership based on scarcity and exclusion” and go against the values of the platform. 

It added that the need for some NFTs to use third-party asset managers meant there was a risk of players losing funds if that asset manager were to disappear.

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Crypto regulation bill introduced to Parliament

The UK Treasury’s proposed bill to regulate digital assets was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

Part of a 335-page financial services and markets bill aimed at strengthening the UK’s financial systems following exit from the European Union, it proposes the extension or modification of existing rules for banking and payment systems to crypto.

The bill will require issuers of stablecoins – seen as a bridge between traditional and fiat currency – to get a licence to operate from regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Treasury will make the regulations but must consult the FCA, the Bank of England and other applicable payments regulators before doing so.

It could target digital service providers for regulatory action via a “recognition order” if the services provided – or disruptions to this – threaten financial stability in the country.

MPs will begin to debate the bill today.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Tesla sold $936 million worth of bitcoin – 75% of its holdings – in the second quarter of the year for an average price of around $29,000 per bitcoin. CEO Elon Musk says this was to boost its cash position, given uncertainty around COVID lockdowns in China, and “should not be taken as some verdict on Bitcoin”. Open to increasing its bitcoin holdings again in the future, it did not sell any of its Dogecoin.

Bloomberg reports that FTX, the crypto exchange led by Sam Bankman-Fried which has financially supported some companies during the crypto crash, and its US subsidiary FTX US are looking to raise Series D funding. It wants to raise the same amount as at Series C – $400m at a $32 billion valuation for FTX, and $400m at an $8bn valuation for FTX US – according to the report.

Southeast Asia-focused exchange Zipmex has suspended withdrawals, citing liquidity difficulties at crypto lenders Babel Finance and Celsius.

South Korean prosecutors have raided 15 premises of exchanges and related offices in the country looking for evidence of illegal practice involved in the collapse of the Luna ecosystem in May, reports Reuters.

The South Korean government’s proposed regulatory agency Digital Assets Committee is being fast-tracked into existence following the Luna incident.

According to analysis from TradingPlatforms, traditional banking services consume far more energy than Bitcoin mining. It said traditional finance systems produce nearly 400 million metric tonnes of Co2 annually, four times BTC’s carbon footprint.

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Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 20,300 coins is at $1.03 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 3.8% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – lost 2% to below $23,000. BTC is 14% up in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – shed 5% to below $1,500. ETH is 35% up over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token dropped 6% to $255, leaving it 10% up over seven days.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP lost 5% to 35.9 cents, with its price 11% up on seven days ago.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, shed 9% to 49c and is 13% up in a week.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token fell 10% to $40.87 and is 19% higher than its price a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE shed 4% to 6.9c and is 13% up over seven days.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, fell 8% to $7.31 and is 13% up on its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token dropped 10% to $23.26 and is 25% up in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.