The Philippine police have expressed concerns over blockchain gaming, suggesting it could be even riskier than cryptocurrency investments if exploited by malevolent individuals.
The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG) recently cautioned the public about the potential dangers of being swindled by gaming schemes that necessitate the purchase of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
According to the statement, “Cybercriminals are now leveraging ‘play-to-earn’ mobile and online games, baiting users with fraudulent rewards to pilfer vast sums in cryptocurrency. They employ tailor-made gaming apps, which offer alluring financial returns correlated to investments, to dupe individuals they’ve previously engaged in extensive online interactions.”
The department further highlighted the prevalent play-to-earn model, exemplified by Axie Infinity and similar platforms, where participants obtain rewards, often in the form of NFTs, as they progress or fulfill certain challenges.
The PNG pointed out that for a game like Axie, a participant must purchase a minimum of three NFTs to start playing, with costs potentially reaching up to $300, equating to $100 per NFT. In comparing this model with conventional gaming, the police department highlighted the latter’s advantages in terms of affordability, accessibility, and safety.
While recognizing the merits of blockchain gaming due to its foundational technology and the innovative approach of rewarding players, the PNG also emphasized the potential hazards players face. These include the threat of market fraudsters, fluctuating prices, and others.
The statement further clarified, “The mere fact that a game’s foundational blockchain is deemed secure doesn’t automatically guarantee the safety of its operational mechanism or its trading platform.”
Additionally, the department expressed concerns about the lack of adherence to most Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations by many in the space. This non-compliance could make the country more susceptible to malicious entities, especially as global regulations tighten.
PNG gives recommendations as government plans more adoption
The PNG shed light on several scam tactics, such as dangling rewards that seem disproportionate to the actual investments and malicious players forging deceptive relationships to swindle their victims.
They noted, “Given that cryptocurrency remains a relatively nascent and less-regulated domain, it’s a fertile ground for criminals aiming to exploit crypto gamers through various deceptive practices.”
To safeguard the public, the department provided a set of guidelines. They urged individuals to conduct thorough research prior to diving into any digital asset investments. Additionally, they recommended the use of reputable exchanges and wallets to safeguard funds, as well as other measures to discern and steer clear of malevolent entities.
The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has recently revealed a collaboration with the Blockchain Council of the Philippines (BCP). This partnership aims to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology to address societal challenges.
Emmy Lou Versoza-Delfin, the Director of DICT, lauded the existing applications of the technology. She emphasized that its widespread adoption would significantly benefit the general public.
She commented, “Witnessing the emergence of creative blockchain startups, the triumph of blockchain-driven business solutions, and the inception of initiatives advocating for blockchain’s public benefits has been inspiring.”