South Korea’s Game Rating And Administration Committee (GRAC) will reportedly deny an age rating to blockchain game developer nodeBrick’s RPG “Infinity Star.”

The GRAC explained that Infinity Star ran afoul of Game Industry Promotion Act stipulations against gambling. The committee explained the game’s results relied excessively on chance rather than skill or effort on the part of the player. Early speculation is that the authorities didn’t like the game’s use of NFTs, though the game did not allow users to conduct in-game transactions with their tokens.

The committee warned people from reading too much into the measure, however. Lee Jae-hong, the GRAC chairperson, said the decision was not a declaration to outright ban games that use blockchain technology — which is exactly how some people were taking it, with one exasperated industry official telling CoinTelegraph that Korea had once again become “the Galapagos Islands of blockchain gaming.”

Anyway, Lee said only those games that use blockchain for gambling would be denied ratings, and that he hoped to see many healthy games that use blockchain technology get released in the future.

For more about the GRAC and blockchain gaming in Korea — or more to the point, why the GRAC was unintentionally encouraging game developers to release games under the radar or in overseas markets only — see our earlier post here.

Also in the Korea blockchain space…

(By William Foxley, Coindesk, Nov. 6)

The UN Security Council’s Sanctions Committee on North Korea is accusing North Korea of setting up a blockchain firm in Hong Kong to launder stolen cryptocurrency. According to the report, the firm circulated the stolen cryptocurrency through at least 5,000 transactions in several countries to make it hard to track.

(By William Pesek, Forkast, Aug. 29 but reprinted recently)

Tokyo-based journalist William Pesek looks at how events in Korea, China and Asia more broadly are pointing the way forward for blockchain.

(By Kim Eun-jin, BusinessKorea, Nov. 5)

Well, you have to give Samsung this — they’re ambitious. Samsung Electronics recently released its Samsung Blockchain Platform SDK, which they hope will create a DApp ecosystem that will do for the Galaxy what iTunes did for the iPhone. “The tech firm’s blockchain strategy is interpreted as similar to Apple’s use of digital music through iTunes as its core content for the iPhone,” writes BusinessKorea. “As users purchased the iPhones to listen to the music, Samsung hopes they will buy Galaxy smartphones in order to use blockchain-based banking and game DApps.”

(By Park Jae-hyuk, Korea Times, Nov. 7)

It’s hard to be a fintech startup in Korea, writes the Korea Times, with a growing number closing up shop because of dogmatic regulators and (fearful?) conventional players. Others — including several blockchain-based remittance services — are thinking of leaving the country.

(By Andrew Singer, CoinTelegraph, Nov. 9)

CoinTelegraph looks at the many ways countries around the world are exploring the military applications of distributed digital ledgers, including South Korea. It might not be so easy to get hyper-centralized organizations like the military to embrace decentralization, though.