The Dutch government is pushing for tighter European Union regulations on digital currencies, especially in online apps and games, to better protect consumers – particularly children – from potential risks.
The call comes as cryptocurrencies and related technologies like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and play-to-earn mechanics continue to permeate the digital ecosystem. While this offers many opportunities, the Netherlands argues that sufficient safeguards are needed to ensure users are properly informed and protected from potential financial losses or manipulation.
The concerns highlighted by the Netherlands include:
- Difficulty Tracking Spending: Purchasing in-app currencies can quickly add up, making it hard for users – especially children – to keep track of how much they are spending.
- Potential for Manipulation: Developers have the power to manipulate the value of in-app currencies and the rarity of digital items, which could distort economic decisions and incentivize overspending.
- Vulnerable Users: Younger users and those with less financial knowledge may be particularly susceptible to the psychological effects designed to encourage in-app purchases.
The government wants stricter EU rules to ensure sufficient transparency around the use of in-app currencies, more responsible product design by developers, and adequate tools to help users monitor and control their spending.
While the call specifically mentions digital currencies, the broader aim is for better protections around emerging virtual economies inside consumer apps and games – whether tied to cryptocurrencies or not. The Dutch are also seeking tighter restrictions on randomized loot boxes in games.
The push comes as the EU works to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and related technologies under initiatives like the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulation.
MiCA creates a pan-European rulebook for crypto issuance and service providers, setting out authorization requirements, conduct of business obligations, and marketing rules. However, MiCA does not cover all aspects of the crypto ecosystem – leaving room for more tailored protections in certain use cases.
For the Netherlands, stricter rules are needed given the growing integration of cryptocurrencies and play-to-earn mechanics into apps and games, especially those targeting younger audiences. With the global market for metaverse technologies projected to reach €800 billion by 2030, effective safeguards are important to ensure a healthy and responsible virtual economy built on EU values.
In summary, while cryptocurrencies offer many benefits, the Dutch government argues that sufficient consumer protections – particularly for children – still need to be established as these technologies expand into mainstream apps and games.
The call for tighter EU regulation seeks to ensure consumers are properly informed about potential risks, developers implement responsible product design principles, and sufficient controls are in place to help users monitor and limit their spending on in-app currencies.
As the EU works to lay the foundation for a comprehensive regulatory framework, tailoring rules to specific use cases – like those within the booming digital gaming world – will be crucial to maximize opportunities while mitigating risks for consumers.
This article is based on the original news published on Cryptopolitan.
Disclaimer: This news article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or legal advice. It is important to conduct through research and consult with professionals before engaging in any investment or financial activities.