Citizens of the Philippines living in Cabanatuan City have been given the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency by playing the video game “Axie Infinity.”
SkyMavis, a Vietnamese video game studio, is now allowing players of the popular Axie Infinity game to earn income just by playing. Gamers can earn non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies by breeding, battling, and trading in-game digital pets called Axies.
Axie Infinity utilizes the NFTs for the ownership rights of each pet that is purchased or won. To grow the digital pets, players need to farm or purchase small-love potions (SLPs). The SLPs can be sold, along with the pets they help raise, for cryptocurrencies that can then be used to buy your digital currency of choice.
The company has released a short documentary called “Play-to-earn” which follows several Filipino players of the game which is partially owned and operated by the players themselves. Included in the doc is a trio of young entrepreneurs, recent college graduates, a cabbie, and an older married couple.
The elderly couple interviewed own a convenience store and game most of the day, while they are in the shop. “While I am in the store, I’m playing,” said 75-year-old Lolo in the documentary.
The game, which launched in the summer of 2020, has really taken off after a number of news articles covering the title were released.
Since then, the game has exploded in the Philipines specifically after the country was hit harder than most by the pandemic. The country experiences its worst annual GDP decline since data collection started in the 1940s at 9.6%. Spikes in cases have led to mandatory lockdowns which have decimated the countries workforce and job market.
Crypto price volatility issue
While the documentary presents the game as something that all people can enjoy, some are critical of the project. A common complaint is the volatility of cryptocurrencies and how that can affect the players trying to earn a little extra scratch. Since players swap money via ethereum (ETH), the price action causes angst in many players.
Axie co-founder and growth leader Jeffrey Zirlin stated that such swings are part of the nature of cryptocurrencies.
Others who are part of the gaming community of Axie have praised the innovative earning option. Stating the obvious that anything which helps people “eat, avoid debts, and get through the day” is only beneficial.
Recently, Mark Cuban joined the project and invested $7.5 million during the Series A round of funding. Other investors of note included Libertus Capital, DeFi Alliance, GoinGecko Ventures, and game developer Animoca Brands. Other individual investors included co-founder of Reddit, Alex Ohanian, and COO of e-sports company 100 Thieves, John Robinson.