The third-party gaming vendor Codashop (opens in new tab) has recently sparked some concern among Genshin Impact players, but customer support statements from developer MiHoYo confirm that the vendor is legit and that there's no account security risk here.
Codashop has been active for several years and is most commonly used in and around the Philippines and southeast Asia as a way to get around regional paywalls or other payment restrictions in games. Simply put, it's a middleman, and it added support for Genshin Impact purchases just under a month ago. In fact, as the company said in February (opens in new tab), it's now "the exclusive third-party direct top-up partner for Genshin Impact." It's also worked with MiHoYo before via Honkai Impact 3rd purchases.
Over the weekend, Codashop became a bit of a hot topic among Western Genshin Impact fans – most of whom understandably aren't familiar with the SEA-based service – mainly due to worries about account security. This was partly sparked – rather unintentionally – by a video from popular Genshin content creator Enviosity (opens in new tab), who's known for playing the game without spending any money on in-game bonuses.
Enviosity received several Genesis Crystal gifts from anonymous donors through Codashop, and because these were logged in the in-game store – removing the first-timer bonuses for a few Genesis Crystal bundles – he was worried that new viewers to his channel might be confused about his free-to-play status.
This was possible because Codashop lets you send Genesis Crystals to any Genshin Impact account as long as you know its user ID. It could be your account, a friend's account, or in this case a streamer's account. Players have apparently used this method to donate to streamers in the past – or to troll them with a barrage of small gifts, kind of like throwing quarters at somebody.
Enviosity faces a rather unique scenario where free crystals can be seen as griefing rather than gifting, but to anyone not trying to preserve diehard free-to-play status, Codashop seems to pose no risk.
See, people were concerned about Codashop because, in the past, Genshin Impact players have had their accounts banned due to sketchy Genesis Crystal purchases. In some instances, players have been hacked only for the hacker to then buy crystals on their account in order to tie it up with a financial dispute. In extreme circumstances, this can reportedly lead to accounts being locked entirely.
In other cases, players have purchased Genesis Crystals through unsavory third-party vendors, converted them into Primogems, and spent them, only to have the Primogems deducted from their account after that shady vendor failed to properly pay MiHoYo. This would drive their Primogem balance into the negative, and in these situations, players can either repurchase enough Genesis Crystals to bring their account's balance out of the red or get banned. Naturally, if you buy crystals through the official in-game store and chargeback the purchase after spending them, you'll also be served with a negative balance and the same ultimatum.
Codashop avoids these issues in a few ways. Most importantly, it's a legit partner. Again, it's not a new storefront, and it's quite popular in the Eastern hemisphere. We've also reviewed several MiHoYo customer support responses posted to the Genshin Impact forums, subreddit, and Discord, and Codashop has been consistently greenlit as a safe vendor. We've reached out to MiHoYo for total clarity, but we've no reason to doubt Codashop.
Crucially, Codashop doesn't accept refunds either. Its terms and conditions clearly state: "Sales by Coda, including but not limited to sales on Codashop, are final; no returns are accepted and no refunds are issued. Gift code issuers, not Coda, are responsible for redeeming gift codes that you purchase from Codashop and for providing goods or services to you in exchange."
In other words, somebody can't buy Genesis Crystals for you through Codashop, wait for you to spend them, and then refund their purchase to tank your account's balance. Somebody could theoretically get their bank involved by filing for fraud to manually charge things back, but because the gift is a one-way transaction, the recipient account shouldn't be dragged down. Historically, it's the banks, credit card companies, and vendors involved that have to eat the cost of errors like that. And even if those parties did just pass the buck, Codashop's terms also cover that kind of corner case:
"As part of or separate from the dispute handling process, we may determine that a mistake has been made that affects you. If we determine that you have been incorrectly charged or overcharged, we will credit your account or otherwise arrange for a refund to rectify the mistake. If we conclude that you were not charged when you ought to have been or have been undercharged, we may debit your account or otherwise collect a payment to rectify the mistake."
If you want absolute fool-proof protection from this kind of mixup, then just don't convert or spend any Genesis Crystals that you don't buy yourself. That said, I can't stress enough that you probably have a better chance of getting struck by purple lightning in your living room at 3:40pm exactly than waking up to a surprise sum of Genesis Crystals sent by an anonymous oil baron or whatever.
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