The South Korean gaming company Netmarble has achieved a significant milestone in the blockchain gaming industry. Its subsidiary, MarbleX, is preparing to list its coin, MBX, on the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif. This marks the first time a token issued by a South Korean gaming firm has gained listing in Japan, signifying a major breakthrough for Netmarble and the wider gaming industry.

South Korean companies have been actively pursuing crypto and blockchain game development. However, they have faced challenges due to strict regulations imposed by domestic regulators. The Japanese market has also proven to be difficult to penetrate, as Japanese exchanges traditionally follow a rigorous evaluation process before listing new projects. The Financial Services Agency, Japan’s top financial regulator, holds the final authority over the whitelist.

Encouraged by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s support for Web3 technologies, Japanese crypto exchange regulators have recently started relaxing their token listing policies. This shift in approach has created opportunities for Netmarble’s MarbleX to gain recognition and secure a spot on the Japanese whitelist. In July, MBX became the first South Korean blockchain game project to receive such recognition. However, it has taken nearly four months for an exchange to take the step of listing the coin.

Zaif, the Japanese crypto exchange, has announced the listing of MBX on October 11. To celebrate this milestone, the exchange has organized a pre-listing event offering a 10% discount on MBX purchases made between October 6 and October 10. The minimum order quantity for buyers is expected to be around $67, with a maximum order cap of approximately $3,358.

The news of MBX’s listing coincides with a South Korean report suggesting that Japan is positioning itself as a “crypto El Dorado.” While South Korean authorities are considering stricter regulations, Japan is actively seeking to deregulate its crypto sector. The ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) in South Korea remains in place, leaving gaming firms in a state of uncertainty. Nonetheless, the Japanese market’s favorable regulatory environment has attracted the attention of many South Korean companies.

In addition to the ICO ban, South Korean gaming firms continue to face restrictions on play-to-earn gaming titles. Furthermore, strict anti-NFT regulations have limited game developers’ access to their own domestic market. These challenges have motivated companies like Netmarble to look to overseas markets, such as Japan, for growth opportunities.

Netmarble’s achievement in securing the listing of its MBX token on Zaif represents a significant breakthrough for the South Korean gaming industry. This success opens doors for other gaming companies to explore the Japanese market and expand their blockchain gaming ventures. While challenges remain, the relaxation of token listing policies and Japan’s pro-crypto stance provide a favorable environment for continued growth and innovation in the gaming sector. The collaboration between South Korean and Japanese gaming companies is poised to shape the future of blockchain gaming in East Asia.


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