Mint One Podcast, Episode 19: Should NFT Creators Be Completely Anonymous?

"The biggest and newest problems are hard, sometimes near-impossible to answer or solve, but they're necessary to unpack all the same."

With privacy at the heart of crypto and much to do with the initial rise of Bitcoin, we find ourselves in an unusual situation as blockchain technology becomes mainstream. Developers of blockchain games, in particular, often utilize the pseudonymous nature of crypto and keep their identities an all but unsolvable mystery. Should that be the case?

Token Gamer and NFT Insider have decided to combine forces to launch a weekly podcast, Mint One (formerly WAX Lyrical). John Nichols of NFT Insider and I will discuss a new topic every week, as well as feature special guests. If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover, make sure you let us know through the Token Gamer Discord or Twitter, or the NFT Insider Discord or Twitter.

In last week’s episode, we discussed the ways in which blockchain technology will revolutionize gaming, and in many ways, has already begun to. This week, we tackle a prevalent teething problem for blockchain gaming and the crypto industry as a whole: anonymity and all that can be exploited under its shroud.

Episode 18: Should NFT Creators Be Completely Anonymous

I want to start with an excerpt from my upcoming article, Should Project Creators in Crypto Be Completely Anonymous?, for NFT Insider which prompted the podcast episode:

There’s an uncomfortable irony in the NFT and blockchain gaming scenes presently. Formed off the foundations of crypto, it’s a little bizarre how something that held transparency and trustlessness at its core, could give birth to two brilliant children that have problems with both of those values. And yet that is where we find ourselves: in a land of smoke and mirrors.

Time and time again, both on the podcast and in writing, I discuss rug pulls and rug slips. They are more common in blockchain gaming than almost anywhere else, perhaps because indie developers are creating full economies without an ounce of necessary knowledge. This isn’t entirely their fault — we can’t expect indie game developers to be economists — but nevertheless, we’re seeing a lot of short-lived projects. What makes it difficult to swallow, however, is the lack of recourse its investors and players have.

Many of the projects we see today have people behind them, with real names, social media links, CVs, and as close to full accountability as is possible. And yet, we’re still seeing games — sometimes wildly successful ones — with complete anonymity. Although I hold dear crypto’s foundations of privacy, when developers create blockchain games and then put NFTs up for sale and seek money from the public, I believe they have to relinquish full anonymity if we have any chance of the space thriving.

If the average person within crypto wants to be anonymous or pseudonymous (we discuss which it truly is in the episode,) then by all means — go ahead. But if you’re looking to take other people’s money for anything that isn’t deliverable in full and with no future expectations, then there needs to be accountability somehow. The question is, how?

This is another episode of Mint One where I find myself frustrated. The biggest and newest problems are hard, sometimes near-impossible to answer or solve, but they’re necessary to unpack all the same.

We’d like to ask that if you listen to us on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify that you rate us five stars and leave us a review if you enjoy Mint One. This helps both our podcast and the blockchain gaming ecosystem as a whole!

To listen to Mint One, you can find us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, and Google Podcasts.

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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