A new public Minecraft server from Chilean game developer Mego, BitQuest, is aiming to literally bring Bitcoin into the virtual gaming world.
Minecraft, created in 2009, is one of the most successful video games of all-time, with approximately 54 million copies sold. In September, Microsoft (now also accepting bitcoin) acquired the game’s developer, Mojang, for $2.5 million.
The game lets users build highly customized 3D structures, mine for resources and engage in combat. One of Minecraft’s common elements is the emerald, which can be mined from emerald ore and traded with villagers for various goods.
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BitQuest is creating a virtual market for these emeralds, allowing them to be traded for real bitcoins through “enchanted chests.” Each emerald is worth one bit (one millionth of a bitcoin). According to its website:
“We are a bunch of crazy gamers who want to make bitcoin the official currency of virtual worlds. Minecraft is the perfect platform to start the revolution.”
Mego says that over 1200 users have already registered on its server.
The virtual “bitcoin ATM,” however, only works one way. Bitcoins can’t be spent on the platform to acquire emeralds or other assets. This also means that the developers need to resort to other means to fund the project, such as through donations. However, because the payouts are so small, this can be done fairly easily.