Gambling online and in-person is illegal in Japan in most scenarios. It has challenged blockchain game developers and users wishing to try blockchain games if these new projects infringe Japanese law or are perceived to.
As per CoinTelegraph, a Tokyo based organization called the Blockchain Contents Association (BCA) has recently announced it has created guidelines to help consumers and game developers understand laws related to gambling and avoid online scams. The new group, described as a “self-regulatory” organization wants to promote customer protection for blockchain-based activities.
The role of Blockchain Contents Association
BCA’s guidelines and advice could help blockchain game developers navigate Japanese law and ensure their creations are compliant. The BCA hopes to give clarity to blockchain projects, this could encompass those using cryptocurrency-based monetization. Some projects that reward users with cryptocurrencies, or non-fungible tokens, could currently be illegal in Japan.
Members of the BCA must comply with it’s “minimum requirements.” Founding members include: Hakuhodo, Gumi, Startbahn, and Double Jump.Tokyo.
Hironao Kunimitsu is president of the BCA and founder of game publisher Gumi. He explains:
“Through the new guidelines, we aim to help our users use content with peace of mind and contribute to the healthy development of the blockchain contents industry in Japan.”
Double Jump.Tokyo is the developer of My Crypto Heroes, an RPG battle game based on the Ethereum blockchain. My Crypto Heroes achieved the most active users out of all blockchain applications in August 2019, as per blockchain projects ranking website DappRadar.
Gumi was founded in 2007 and it developed popular game title Brave Frontier in 2012. It became a publicly listed company in 2014 and has over 800 employees. Gumi’s $30 million Gumi Cryptos Fund is focusing specifically on investing in blockchain games. Furthermore, they upped their investment in Double Jump.Tokyo last year and now owns over 67% of the company’s shares. Gumi, as per VentureBeat, started looking at blockchain technology as early as 2017.
Much like gambling, cryptocurrency use faces differing regulations around the world and organizations like the BCA are becoming common as companies collaborate to navigate local regulatory climates both legally and successfully. As per a Google translation of the BCA’s recent announcement it is making efforts to ensure that blockchain platform users “can use the content provided by member companies with peace of mind.”
BCA and Gumi founder Kunimitsu told VentureBeat about Gumi’s aspirations in October 2019, saying:
“Our company’s vision is around new technology opening up new kinds of entertainment.”
Additionally, Kunimitsu discussed the potential for blockchain games. The idea is that players can own their data or game items in a similar way to assets. He says users are interested in being part of growing games where their game “assets” might increase in value.
Just this week SkyWeaver, a blockchain based game backed by a Reddit co-founder, revealed it was progressing towards an open-beta launch later this year.