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The pandemic turned the world upside down, resulting in millions of lost jobs and wages throughout 2020. For some, financial relief came in the form of so-called play-to-earn games. One of the biggest games is Axie Infinity, which allows players to accumulate and trade cryptocurrency.
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Axie Infinity is an NFT-based online video game developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis. Billionaire Mark Cuban and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian were part of a $7.5 million funding round for the game-maker, according to Bloomberg. For others looking to buy in, it comes with a hefty price tag of over $600.
Axie Infinity’s daily active users exploded from 30,000 in April to more than 1 million by August. Etherscan found that Axie recorded around $30 million worth of Ether transfers a day over the past month, as reported by Bloomberg.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, users can earn the Axie Infinity Shard, or AXS, token and the other in-game token, Smooth Love Potion, by breeding, raising and battling Axies in this Pokemon-inspired universe. For those who don’t want to play the game, tokens can be bought on decentralized exchanges. According to El País, the best players can earn up to 1,500 SLP (around $470) a day.
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“Some people say we’re like the Fed,” Sky Mavis Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Aleksander Leonard Larsen said in an interview reported by Bloomberg. Larsen also said they are taking their responsibility seriously and monitoring in-game currencies and making adjustments to 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.”
Axie trade has generated more than $1 billion in transactions, a first for NFT platforms, according to CryptoSlam and as noted by Bloomberg. Since 2018, Axie Infinity has brought in $485 million for Sky Mavis.
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However, getting started isn’t cheap. New players need at least three axies, which can be bought or rented. Although the price fluctuates, El País noted that the initial investment costs around $350.
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Last updated: August 26, 2021
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