Rockstar will stop you from trading crypto and NFTs in updated GTA Online server guidelines

best co-op games: a group of bikers riding down a street in GTA Online
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Whether you’re a crypto enthusiast or prefer to keep bitcoin and the like at a safe, wary distance, it has a wide area of appeal. Some gamers have been making use of it, too, by either playing games that reward you in cryptocurrencies or trading them through online portals.

This was true for users of the GTA 5 companion title, GTA Online, with one server in particular under the microscope.

Trenches was a roleplaying server founded by rapper Lil Durk. As well as participating in community events and challenges, server members could buy and sell loot boxes, turning the server into a mini marketplace.

When Rockstar announced new user guidelines for their roleplaying servers, they effectively banned all buying and selling blockchain products. This prompted an official Tweet from Lil Durk to formally announce that Trenches, which only started in September 2022, would shut down on November 27 following a cease-and-desist order from Rockstar Games.

Rockstar seems to be the driving force behind this. Take Two Interactive has previously spoken out in favor of crypto, describing it as “very useful” to the modern gamer with their eye on the bottom line.

That's a rap

Lil Durk founded the doomed Trenches earlier this year, but it was more than just a roleplaying server. Twitter users commented on the news with sadness for the teams behind the scenes who had helped keep the community running. 

It came as a particularly big shock to Twitter user otf_kaay. They responded to Lil Durk’s announcement by singing the praises of Only The Family, the team who designed and upheld the roleplaying server, its companion Discord, as well as its moderators and support staff. 

The server was shut down on November 27th, and Rockstar is still combing for other similar groups who might be using their roleplaying services to buy or trade NFTs, crypto, and similar digital goods.

A biker sits and looks at the camera

(Image credit: Rockstar)

 Eyes on the prize 

Crypto and NFTs are still major points of contention for many. They represent an unknown quantity, with a lot of stock and belief put into their value in the near future rather than being a necessary asset for here and now. 

Steam even banned all games that dealt in crypto or NFT trades, suggesting that there is a legal grey area regarding the ethics behind letting players buy and sell items that may or may not have any value in the years to come. No one wants to be served a chunky lawsuit should things go south.

Other studios and devs have welcomed the inclusion of blockchain as a novel aspect of player interaction. For example, Ubisoft’s QuartzDigits allows players to buy and sell items for Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Sega has even spoken in support of NFTs, suggesting they are the future of the industry itself. 

It might be a nebulous and somewhat daunting prospect for us outsiders, but it’s good to know that there are other options for gamers who moonlight as crypto bros.

Jasmine is a freelance writer and podcaster based in the UK. Whether it's a Sims 4 lore deep-dive or a guide to securing kills in Dead By Daylight, her work is featured on TheGamer as well as the door of her mother's fridge. When she's not aggressively championing the Oxford comma on Twitter, you can find her scoping out the local music scene or buying gaudy Halloween decorations all year round.