Discord walks back NFT and cryptocurrency plans

Discord
(Image credit: Discord)
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Discord has walked back its plans for NFT and cryptocurrency integration, according to its CEO and founder Jason Citron.

"Thanks for all the perspectives everyone," he tweeted. (opens in new tab) "We have no current plans to ship this internal concept. For now we're focused on protecting users from spam, scams and fraud. Web3 has lots of good but also lots of problems and we need to work through at our scale. More soon."

Rumors about the integration plans began cooking (opens in new tab) earlier this week when an old survey sent to Discord users regarding NFTs resurfaced online. This was followed by Citron tweeting a screenshot showing an unreleased integration for two different cryptocurrency wallet apps. According to an official statement made to TechCrunch (opens in new tab), these features were part of a regular company-wide "hack week," and were not in active development.

Neither the survey nor the screenshot were received very well, with Discord's subreddit (opens in new tab) littered with pleas to dump the plans and numerous people across social media encouraging users to cancel their Discord Nitro subscriptions.

"We’re excited about the potential for web3 technology and the positive ways these communities are coming together on Discord, especially those organized around environmentally friendly, creator-focused projects," Discord told TechCrunch (opens in new tab). "However, we also recognize there are some problems we need to work through."

Some current Discord employees took to Twitter to express their frustration in the wake of Citron's tweets, suggesting that cryptocurrency integration was not supported by everyone at the company.  "I hope leaders can humbly listen to the chorus of vehement moral disgust this teaser has already invited,'' another employee wrote. "This sincerely does not have to happen."

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Sounds like while Discord isn't going through with the wallet integration just yet, there's still a very real chance NFTs and crypto will hit the service at some point in the future. It's unclear exactly what the tipping point was for it making the u-turn, though it's unlikely the Nitro boycott and backlash from its own staff went unnoticed.

Gaming companies like Ubisoft (opens in new tab), EA (opens in new tab), Zynga (opens in new tab), and Square Enix (opens in new tab) have recently started to talk about their approach to NFTs and blockchain games. The reactions to the news have been controversial given the amount of uncertainty in the space. Last month, a game based on Netflix's Squid Game show ended with its creators scamming early adopters out of $3.4 million (opens in new tab)

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.