Edward Snowdon (Whistleblower) Issues Warning Over Crypto Gaming

Crypto Gaming Only Benefits Some Investor Class: Edward Snowdon

Edward Snowdon, an American former computer intelligence consultant who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), has scrutinized crypto gaming and the use of digital collectibles in games. He argued that NFTs give gamers an unreal perception of scarcity while they actually benefit only some investor class. Speaking at the BlockDown DeData online conference, Snowden said:

“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 warned that some gamers might be turning to virtual games in an attempt to forget about all of their real misfortunes. He then weighed on game developers for capitalizing on this, adding that this would put gamers at a disadvantage.

“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,” he said.

Gavin Wood, an Ethereum co-founder, who was also attending the virtual meeting, contradicted Snowden, saying that NFTs in gaming are somehow comparable to artists selling their artworks in the form of NFTs. However, Snowden was not convinced. He said that gamers were “not paying for a guaranteed product” but rather purchasing the “chance at something, without the promise of something.”

According to Snowden, crypto gaming could facilitate unethical practices with the promotion of NFTs. He then urged the community to step up and try to stop the injection of “artificial, unnecessary scarcity” into the crypto sector.

“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,” said Snowden, who is also a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast.

Snowden is largely considered a crypto proponent. However, at times, he has also outspoken the downsides of the industry. In March 2021, he said Bitcoin has some flaws, especially when it comes to “financial privacy.” He has also stated multiple times that digital assets are not as secure and private as the media and maximalists often portray them.

The Rise of Crypto Gaming

Snowden’s comments come at a time when the use of NFTs in gaming is gathering momentum. According to a survey conducted by the insight agency Opinium, 72% of game developers based in the US and the UK are interested in integrating NFTs and blockchain technology into their future games.

The game developers who participated in the survey argued that NFTs and blockchain could add value to games by creating better player experiences. Notably, 47% of the participants claimed that they have already incorporated NFTs into their games, while around 60% said they are beginning to use the innovation.

Echoing the same point of view, Activate Consulting, a leading management consulting firm for technology, internet, media and entertainment industries, predicted that NFTs will become mainstream by 2022.

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