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From Minecraft Wiki
The Marketplace is a partner program between Microsoft and content creators. The Marketplace is an in-game store, where players can purchase access to skins, textures and worlds from community creators, who in turn will be reimbursed for their creations. Players will use their own currency to purchase Minecraft Coins, which in turn are spent to actually access the content.
- Before the Minecraft Marketplace was introduced, real money was used to buy the in-game Texture Packs and Skins.