Korean Government Targets Blockchain Games, Requests The Removal of Gaming Apps

Blockchain clampdown in South Korea has taken a new turn, as the authorities are now targeting popular play-to-earn games. The South Korean government has reportedly told prominent app marketplaces Google and Apple to restrict the listing of NFT games.

The surprising ban on Play-to-Earn games was enacted by the gaming body under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The prohibition will negatively impact the registration and distribution of blockchain games in the country, as the ministry is solely responsible for verifying games that will make it to the launch stage.

Five Stars For Clayton, Amongst The Games Affected

Renowned blockchain games that will be reportedly affected by the new crackdown are Five Stars for Clayton and Three Kingdoms Reverse. Certain pointers suggest that this ban may not be as new as the gaming world is believing.

In April, the Game Management Committee, the body responsible for rating games before they are launched first prohibited the rating of Five Stars for Clayton. This proves that the supposed game ban may have been in the works for long, but under the radar. 

South Korea and Its Plethora of Crypto Regulations

Ever since cryptocurrencies became popular in South Korea, the country has been somewhat defensive in its approach towards the nascent industry. While the country has shown interests in developing blockchain technology, its regulatory clampdowns are raising concerns amongst crypto enthusiasts. 

Earlier today, major crypto exchanges resolved to implement the Financial Action Task Force Travel Rule to mitigate money laundering and other criminal acts occurring in the crypto space, with consequences for violators. The Travel Rule mandates customers to undergo strict KYC screening.

Months before that, South Korea regulators ordered exchanges to carry out Internet Security Management Systems by partnering with a local bank to verify a customer’s real name. Like the FATF rule, the purpose of the  ISMS is to curb illegal financial activities in the industry. 

The country is setting sights on enacting the controversial crypto tax rule that will see crypto users pay taxes on trading profits exceeding $2,300. However, the rule has been postponed indefinitely due to some lapses in the bill. The rule shares a stark similarity with the crypto reporting requirements in the $1T Infrastructure Bill passed a few months ago.

Although no one knows the end game of the government regarding the restriction on blockchain games, it’s likely that the growth of the GameFi ecosystem in the country will force the government to rescind its decision. Blockchain games amassed tremendous revenue in 2021, and it’s expected the growth will be sustained in years to come, especially as blockchain and the metaverse continue to evolve.

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