This Might Blow Your Mine!

Headline: Does Minecraft have a cryptocurrency?

Body:  Ok, confession time.   I don’t know the first thing about Minecraft.   I think you develop a character, ply a trade and probably join a guild and/or clan. (In truth, there are 2 modes, creative and survival.  In creative mode, you can join vast guilds and design weapons and armor.  In survival mode, you fight more often. This is where my knowledge ends, and I thought my interest too.   But, apparently, there are a few types of cryptocurrency that are associated with Minecraft.   Given how many people are involved with Minecraft this seems really important.  (I was shocked to find that in 2021, there were 140,000,000 users worldwide spending $318,000,000.)  So, let’s take a closer look at this.

Shhh… it’s not REALLY happening… Remember, there IS no spoon.

Minecraft players are not complete newbies when it comes to this type of gaming.   Many of them have built avatars and characters in other metaverses, and they want to take this character and bring it into the Minecraft universe.   Officially, they are not able to do this, but somebody is apparently working on a back door (officially sanctioned or not… who’s to know) so that these players can import the characters they worked so hard to develop.   This entity Enjin(working with a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Coincheck)  has developed a plugin which will interact with the programming of Minecraft to allow for this transfer of what is essentially an NFT saved on the Ethereum blockchain.  (This tokenized item will allow one to immigrate an item into a different game on the same blockchain.)    This is not the first time that third parties have attempted to integrate Minecraft and cryptocurrency. Players have created unofficial servers that support Bitcoin payments such as BitQuest, MinecraftCC, PlayMC, and SatoshiQuest. Those servers reward players based on their activity, or reward players for finding items. Third-party developers have also created Minecraft clones such as Cryptovoxels and, which record land ownership on the Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash blockchains, respectively.  I keep reading repeatedly how Minecraft has no official cryptocurrency associated with it. 

(Since there have been so many of these 3rd party attempts at monetization, it sure sounds to me like it was one of the objectives of Minecraft creators to see what kind of currency-related systems would organically evolve.  This may in fact be part of a strategy to get players to become excited and engage even more with the software.   Just my surmise, but, it smells right.)   For the record, designers of Minecraft publicly disagree with me.  Mojang Studios, the developer of Minecraft, one the most popular video games, has just banned NFTs and Blockchain technology, because they are, claims the company, against its values ​​of inclusivity.   “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 utilized to create NFTs associated with any in-game content, including worlds, skins, persona items, or other mods,”   Seeing that they deny it so vehemently, makes me even more cynical about their intentions.   nterestingly, in 2014, Mojang was acquired by Microsoft. Would they really spend $2 Billion for the company if they were unhappy with the monetization prospects?

So, what IS Enjin?

Engin  is a plugin for Minecraft.   (Think of a plugin as a smallish piece of software that allows you extra functionalities within the main software.)  In this realm, all players need an Enjin wallet, and then they can securely trade cryptocurrency and digital assets with one another, from wallet to wallet.   It also allows you to port your creations from one area of the game to another.   (Think of this as a form of arbitrage.   Some materials are common in some areas and extremely limited in others.   Thus, in the 2nd area, you can probably sell your creation (made from these “scarce resources) at a price higher than you had to pay for the resources.   In this manner, you can profit.  The drawback is that this plugin must be installed on each individual server.

The Verdict

This one’s tricky, no other way about it.   Whether or not a cryptocurrency catches on, seems to depend upon the number of people who adopt it, and then the number of developers sho put in the effort to develop apps that people like and use.  Make no mistake, we are at the beginning here.  The endgame (as it were) is rather inscrutable.  


Editor’s Note: Please note that the information contained herein is meant only for general education: This should not be construed as Tax Advice.   Personal attributes could make a material difference in the advice given, so, before taking action, please consult your tax advisor or CPA.