Gamers warned of GameFi fraudulence in Vietnam

Seeing the success of Sky Mavis, whose GameFi (Game + Finance) can attract a capital investment of US$3 billion, other Vietnamese game developers have introduced similar game projects lately. However, experts in the field state that many of them are in fact fraudulent ones.

Users need to spend real money to buy items before they can join in a move-to-earn GameFi

GameFi is normally developed using capital raised from investors before being released onto the market. Both investors and gamers are paid tokens in each development stage, which will be then converted into real money. This has become a lucrative place for frauds, and many have been detected in Vietnam such as Zodiac (stealing over VND50 billion or US$2.18 million), Crypto Bike (appropriating VND30 billion - $1.3 million), or the series of Ccar, Cpan, and Cguar (stealing VND2 trillion - $87.1 million).

Fraudulent GameFi projects usually introduce nicknames of developers only, with attractive marketing messages like quick money earning by 10 or even 100 times of the investment in an abnormally short time.

One such suspicious case is the move-to-earn GameFi project named Stepon. It has been accused by some Vietnamese agencies of using their name without permit. Stepon’s website advertises an app of the same name that can let users earn token when jogging. Introducing itself as a No.1 fitness app in 2022, this app is still under the status of ‘coming soon’ in both Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Meanwhile, many businesses having their names listed on this website declared that they do not participate in this project.

As blockchain technology is transparent, it is easy for investors to pinpoint these frauds via the address on a smart contract of these scam projects. However, without a proper legal corridor, investors find it challenging to take back their money, and most accept the fact that they have lost their money after countless efforts to contact the authorities or even the scammers. This is because the transactions were made privately and the money used was cryptocurrency, transferred via MetaMask wallet, which has no legal entity in Vietnam, nor being recognized in the country.

CEO of Pencil Group Nguyen Tien Huy commented that as the trend of move-to-earn is so fashionable now, there will be more fraudulence to come. Users are advised to carefully evaluate both the project history and development team to avoid any possible fraud.

CEO of Axie Infinity game Nguyen Thanh Trung informed that this situation is happening all over the world. To stop it, besides a suitable legal corridor, people using the blockchain technology in different fields need to deliver warnings and instruction for users in order to create a clean GameFi environment.

More importantly, fraudulence in GameFi projects in Vietnam has destroyed the good image of Vietnamese blockchain startups in the eyes of foreign investors, leading to their hesitance in pouring money into any project having a Vietnamese developer in the team. A legal corridor is, therefore, essential to amend the situation and bring back the confidence for serious blockchain developers in the nation.

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