Into the World of Axies Cryptocurrency is the future of real money
Marlyn Rose B. Marcelo
His eyes scream great triumph as he let out his final Axie’s combo ability. Flashing the huge “Victory” logo, he was able to win the game again, for countless times. In his nine months of playing a Pokémon-like battle, he already mastered all the attacking formulas and mechanics in order to win more games in the Axie Infinity Arena.
TRADITIONAL VS TREND
When a small business owner had gone through financial struggles since the rise of the pandemic, his friend offered him an unusual financial lifeline – a currently in-demand video game that compensates players in cryptocurrency. After those sleepless nights playing the game, his earnings increased tenfold, and he was able to build two houses and bought motor-cycles. He can’t even believe it at first since like a lot of beginners to this play-to-earn game, he hadn’t had any enthusiasm in the world of cryptocurrencies. Now, he is beyond grateful for this lucrative sideline that his friend offered him. “I started engaging in the world of Axies the moment my business faced bankruptcy,” he shared.
Gone are the days that people would tend to spend most of their time playing traditional video games. The digital economy created a new market that can turn a hobby of playing video games into a profitable occupation through games such as Axie Infinity. In a world of advancing technology, it is no surprise that video games that people used to play in their leisure time would evolve into a bail-out. In simple words, players of this game earn cryptocurrency tokens within the game itself, in which they can trade them on decentralized exchanges for hard money.
“We joined the axie community three months ago. Honestly, I am not fond of playing games, but I’m interested in the world of cryptocurrency. I am not a gamer, but I treat Axie infinity as one of those income generating projects,” said Edren D. Buday, A.B. Political Science student in University of San Agustin, during an interview with The Augustinian.
TO AXIE INFINITY AND BEYOND
Axie Infinity, originally built by the Ethereum blockchain, is one of the few cryptocurrencies to have seen a dramatic price growth in recent months of the year. It is among the biggest and most popular games that allow players to accumulate tradable cryptocurrency coins. Currently, there are 250, 000 daily active players according to Axie Infinity official website. Under their CEO, Trung Thanh Nguyen, the game is being developed by a technology-focused game studio, Sky Mavis.
Unlike other video games, Axie Infinity incorporates non-fungible tokens or the so-called NFTs. These are tokens that people can use to represent ownership of distinct items. There should be one official owner at a time, and they are secured by the Ethereum blockchain. Also, these things are not interchangeable for other items for they have their own unique properties. The monsters or the Axies in the game are one example of NFTs. This only means that an Axie that a player creates through the game’s breeding mechanics will be, by being minted as an NFT, an original digital object.
Axie Infinity’s Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Aleksander Leonard Larsen highlighted that despite the economic blast of their video game, they seriously monitor the in-game currencies and improve the market as needed. “We are ultimately the creators of this universe and are responsible for making sure that it lasts. We are always tracking the economy to make sure it stays at a healthy level,” explained Larsen in an interview with Bloomberg.
While Axie Infinity has been around since 2018, its massive hype in the Philippines only began in May 2021. In fact, a platform keeping track of crypto assets, Token Terminal, shows the growth in transaction volume at around May 2021 before making a great leap in late June and early July of the same year.
BEST AMONG THE REST
Axie Infinity was originally built to introduce the world to blockchain technology in an interesting and educational way. While in the process of producing this game, the creators envisioned a future where work and play merge. They started to visualize empowering their players and giving them both pleasure and economic opportunities. Above all, they dreamed that battling and collecting adorable creatures such as Axies can be world changer.
“The main goal of axie infinity is to provide financial freedom to gamers. It is more profitable since it provides more opportunity to others having less labor work, and it can compete to the minimum wage of our country,” said Buday.
Bested other in-game markets such as Cryptoblades, Step Hero, and Faraland, Axie Infinity is unique in a sense that it purposely showcases itself as a “play-to-earn” game. The foreground for the players is to play well and wisely in order to earn and cash out tokens. Meanwhile, there are two types of tokens in the game which can be traded like other cryptocurrencies – Small Love Potion (SLP), players often earn and cash out, and Axie Infinity Shard (AXS). Axie players can trade their SLP and AXS directly to a major crypto exchange in the digital market. Currently, the young adult people between the ages of 20-39 is the target market of such trades.
Floren Molina, a cyber defense manager at the consultancy firm Accenture, said in El País, “By doing very little, you can earn around €500 [$560]. That amount is what players generate on average and is a decent wage in the Philippines.”
While Axies bring mainstream financial opportunities and logical implementation of blockchain technology, there are still inevitable risks for its players and investors along with the cryptocurrency world wherein massive drawdowns are prevalent. One is a crucial question whether Axie Infinity is a ponzi scheme, an investment fraud in which clients are secured a large profit with little to no risk at all.
“I was convinced that it is not a Ponzi scheme since there are no invites needed to sustain the whole game, and also, they have big partners around the globe like Samsung and Binance. Investing on Axie Infinity is not risky since it is under cryptocurrencies,” explained Buday.
On the other hand, BloomX founder and crypto expert Luis Buenaventura argued that in a worst-case scenario, the demand for new monster NFTs or Axies will be gone as the price of the Axies and the token needed to breed new Axies drop resulting to loss of investments. Like Bitcoin, Axie Infinity’s value is subject to the demands of the market.
“When I started playing Axie Infinity, I already knew that I am risking my money because cryptocurrency is unstable, prices might go down. However, that doesn’t stop me from engaging in the game,” highlighted Paul Daniel Pranada, veteran of Axie Infinity, in an interview with the The Augustinian
On the other hand, there is a growing amount of price for monsters since there’s a surge of interest for the game. In an interview with Bloomberg, Vanessa Cao, founder of venture-capital firm BTX Capital argued, “Players need to spend hundreds of dollars upfront just to play. It’s a wrongful concept. You can’t ask people to pay before even having any idea what the game is about.”
FILLING THE VOID
As coronavirus pandemic strikes, the crypto gaming boom has created a huge impact in keeping the national economy afloat during the crisis despite its prevailing risks. For some players, spending a few hours playing for plain entertainment is in bygone days. Others may think that the rise of e-sports has already changed the gaming industry, but what has been happening right now goes beyond that.
Video games such as Axie Infinity have indeed created a new digital market that has transformed entertainment into a career. This is not through selling millions of copies, but with the intervention of the blockchain technology making cryptocurrencies the prime focus of these cryptocurrency games.
Published: April 25, 2022