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Whistleblower Edward Snowden Issues Crypto Gaming Warning, Highlights Potential ‘Unethical’ Practices

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Whistleblower Edward Snowden says that the use of non-fungible tokens (NFT) in crypto gaming comes with certain consequences.

In a new interview on Parachains, a Polkadot and Kusama-focused YouTube channel, Snowden says he is against the monetization of gaming platforms that use NFTs because they utilize a false sense of scarcity.

“We have people that are trying to sort of – maybe they’re not even trying to – but the ultimate result of what they’re doing is they are injecting an artificial sense of scarcity into a post-scarcity domain. I think that is actually an inherently anti-social urge here.”

The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee says gamers who seek a virtual escape can potentially be put at a disadvantage from the NFT-based gaming business model. 

“If you think about the world that people are retreating from to their games, where they live in a cold bare box, if they’re lucky enough to even have a home in some overly expensive city where they spend all their time working, they get home exhausted. 

They make their cheap meal, and then they turn on their device to escape from all that and then in their digital world, where they’re on a beautiful island, they build a beautiful home, and they want to change the color of the wall, and you got to pay $19.99 for the wall or for a token to let you roll for the potential to maybe recolor your wall. There is something horrible and heinous and tragic in that to me.”

Snowden’s comment comes following the exponential rise of gaming altcoins and the crypto-based metaverse. According to Snowden, the crypto sector is at risk of facilitating unethical practices. 

“I think the community should very much be trying to bend the arc of development away from injecting artificial unnecessary scarcity entirely for the benefit of some investor class into these post-scarcity domains.

One of the promises, one of the privileges of technology, is that it frees us from material limits that only exist in a material space. To try to reimpose material in immaterial space, I think is a little bit unethical.”

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