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Minecraft Server Will End Bitcoin Earnings After Mojang Demand: Report

source-logo  decrypt.co 24 September 2023 22:07, UTC

An independent, fan-run PC game server for Minecraft that paid players in Bitcoin will remove its play-to-earn functionality following what the creators claim was a demand from Minecraft creator Mojang.

In a late Friday Discord post, an administrator for the Satlantis server for Minecraft said that Mojang—which, like Minecraft, is owned by Microsoft—asked the server administrators to remove the play-to-earn feature. The functionality allowed users to accumulate and withdraw small amounts of Bitcoin, as detailed in a recent how-to guide from Decrypt’s GG.

In a follow-up post, the pseudonymous administrator duhneeno said that the play-to-earn functionality will be removed from Satlantis at 12 p.m. ET on Monday, and advised players to withdraw their satoshis—the smallest denomination of Bitcoin—from the server. However, the creators say they plan to revive the concept within another game that’s yet to be decided.

How to Earn Bitcoin by Playing Minecraft

“This sucks. There’s no getting around that,” the post reads. “But Satlantis will live on.”

“‘The Game That Shares its Profits with Players’ works. And it works well,” it continues. “All of the time, money, and energy that we put into this game together will not be forsaken by a few dinosaurs at some conglomerate. We will be porting the Satlantis community to a platform that encourages innovation, instead of stifling it.”

Satlantis said that it will continue to honor Bitcoin withdrawals outside of the game after tomorrow’s deadline, and that it will otherwise port over all earnings, in-game items, and player statuses to its new game platform in the future. After tomorrow’s deadline, Satlantis will remain online for the foreseeable future, albeit without Bitcoin earnings enabled.

Decrypt reached out to the Satlants team and Microsoft/Mojang representatives for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. In the Discord server, duhneeno elaborated on Mojang's request.

"This is not at all something I wanted to do. I didn't have a choice," they wrote. "Mojang threatened to block our server IP and cease-and-desist our server host if we didn't comply."

Minecraft’s usage guidelines have been updated to include a ban on play-to-earn features in user-operated servers, joining the previously announced ban on NFT functionality. It’s unclear when the guideline changes were instituted; Decrypt has asked for clarification. Decrypt reported in June that the NFT ban still hadn’t been added after nearly a year.

The claimed action against Satlantis recalls the previous situation around NFT Worlds, a project that sold tokenized land plots for a dedicated Minecraft fan server. When Mojang announced its planned ban on token-gated features, NFT Worlds said that it would consider other ways to move forward, and ultimately rebranded to Hytopia and created its own Minecraft-like game engine—with a beta release said to be out soon.

Rockstar Games Bans NFTs, Crypto From Grand Theft Auto Fan Servers

Minecraft isn’t the only prominent game to ban NFTs and cryptocurrency from its fan servers. In November 2022, Rockstar Games announced that both would be banned from the smash hit open-world game Grand Theft Auto V, following a rise in servers in which users sold NFTs to represent limited-edition vehicles and other in-game items.