“Axie Infinity” is not an easy game. It’s not easy to redeem points earned in the game. But that doesn’t matter. This “play and earn” non-fungible token (NFT) game is gaining more users in the Philippines.
The last article I wrote about this game was in August 2020. After losing work due to a lockdown caused by the new coronavirus, I heard that nearly 100 people are playing in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija to earn a living and get daily food. was.
Nueva Ecija is a common region in the Philippines where rice fields and the three-wheeled taxi “Tricycle” run.
Related article: NFT games support life ── The backbone of the Filipino economy damaged by corona
And now the Philippines is the country with the highest traffic of Axie Infinity in the world (by the way, Axie has just succeeded in a large funding round).
Barriers to entry are high as well as popularity
According to data from developer Sky Mavis, the number of downloads in the Philippines has increased from 10,000 in March 2021 to over 29,000 today. By the way, the number of downloads worldwide is 70,000. Indonesia and Venezuela are second only to the Philippines in terms of traffic. Both are emerging economies, with a shortage of domestic employment and limited support in the corona wreck.
Axie Infinity is one of the leading “play and earn” games that are on the rise. Players can get rewards such as tokens, which can be used in-game or traded in the open market. The latter symbolizes a major change in the game world. This is because in-game assets have traditionally been limited to within the game’s centralized protocol and could not be taken out of the game.
For some, the concept of “playing and earning” is pure fun and a little pocket money, but in the Philippines it’s a pure way to make money.
Success stories are exciting. Some people bought diapers and milk for their babies, while others bought shoes and shirts for interviews with the money they earned from playing Axie. Some families have paid their children’s school fees or bought digital devices for home study.
Some people bought motorcycles, replaced their cell phones, and remodeled their homes. Some have bought land and some are 22 years old who have bought several homes. A man who was working abroad quit his job in South Korea because he earned enough money from the game and returned to his Filipino family.
The trading volume of Axie’s in-game reward token “SLP” is now very large, and the crypto asset exchanges BloomX and Binance P2P offer a service to exchange SLP and Philippine currency pesos. There is.
But with increasing popularity and rising Ethereum transaction fees, the cost of entering the game has risen significantly. In mid-2020, the purchase cost of a three-person team was $ 5 (Axie is a game of fighting with characters like Pokemon). Now it costs about $ 1000 to form such a team.
These costs are out of reach for many who want to participate in the game.
Training program operated by the community
As a way to overcome the high entry costs, the Axie community has created a training program. The existing owner rents out NFT characters to new entrants, so to speak, profit sharing. New entrants can earn SLP by playing games without buying NFTs or investing in advance.
The rewards earned are divided between the player, the NFT owner, and the community manager. Community managers gather, train and train new players. So all new players need is time, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn.
The developer, Sky Mavis, does not offer such a training program. Every day, owners who have more characters than they can control cooperate. It is an excellent mechanism that can be effectively used by renting out characters that are not used by the owner.
Oldest business model x NFT
The idea of lending assets is one of the oldest business models, but applying it to NFTs is a new approach.
There is a reason why this is possible with Axie Infinity. That is, the player’s username and password are stored separately from the crypto wallet. This is not the case with other Dapps (distributed apps). Usually, the user’s ID is the wallet itself.
On the other hand, in Axie, the owner of NFT (= character) can rent out his own assets (= character) to other players and have them enjoy using it without giving the private key.
Of course, this is not a perfect mechanism. First, it is not trustless (a mechanism that does not require a reliable third party).
A malicious owner may refuse to give a share to a new player after using a training program to let a new player play for a few days, then monopolizing the rewards stored in the wallet.
Similarly, players can use multiple anonymous accounts to earn rewards from multiple training programs at the same time. These practices are strictly prohibited and are actively monitored by community leaders.
KYC (customer confirmation) is a big issue, but training programs are being actively used and becoming more sophisticated. In the earliest days, the upbringing program was held among friends. I lent an NFT character to a friend and received an SLP in return.
The latest model uses spreadsheet software Excel to manage training program participants and earned rewards. Some are leveraging smart contracts and bots to automate share payments to hundreds, if not thousands, of new entrants.
Once again, underserved people in the world are at the forefront of innovation, creating solutions that meet their needs. What can you actually do with NFT? Emerging market gaming communities are showing around the world.
Leah Callon-ButlerThe latest documentary, Play-to-Earn: NFT Gaming in the Philippines, covers how Axie Infinity players earn life-changing income from games. ing.
｜ Translation / Editing: Akiko Yamaguchi, Takayuki Masuda
｜ Image: Shutterstock
｜ Original: For Filipinos, Axie Infinity Is More Than a Crypto Game