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Playing Crypto Games for a Living Is More Than Just a Meme

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Playing Crypto Games for a Living Is More Than Just a Meme | Crypto Briefing


















Playing crypto games to earn a living and how COVID led people to try something new.


Shutterstock cover by MicroOne

Key Takeaways

  • Pro gaming has long been a unique income source for many around the world.
  • This same trend is unfolding in various blockchain-based games like Axie Infinity and Decentraland.
  • With gamers making a sustainable living in the metaverse, VCs are keeping a close eye.

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While games such as World of Warcraft originally blurred the line between in-game economy and real money, games on the blockchain take this to the next level. 

And for many, this innovation is earning them a real living.

Play Games, Get Rich

The rise of competitive gaming has led to a new wave of professional gamers who earn a comfortable living from online tournaments and a loyal fan base. The phenomenon has been ongoing, but amidst global lockdowns, the “play-to-earn” trend has enjoyed even more traction. 

Crypto-based games are no different, says co-founder of Yield Guild Games, Gabby Dizon. He said: 

“At its core, YGG is a community of play-to-earn gamers. So you could think of it as a World of Warcraft guild, for example, but we operate across several games, and we also invest in yield-generating NFTs within those games and lend our in-game assets out to our player base.”

Users log into the guild’s discord group every day, play games, earn rewards, and exchange those for real money on platforms such as Uniswap. The most popular game is called Axie Infinity and features battles between the small Pokémon-esque creatures called “Axies.”

Unlike traditional gaming, Axies are blockchain-based and unique. Just as Bitcoin ushered in scarce digital value, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain add value to art, music, and gaming

The battles pit different Axies against one another. Each creature comes with its own strengths and weaknesses that each player must be aware of to win. 

Meet the official Crypto Briefing Axies
Meet the official Crypto Briefing Axies. Users can see their Axies through apps like Zapper.

Registering to Axie Infinity is free, but to play the game, users will need at least three Axies. 

The creatures are not cheap, ranging from around $100 on Axie Infinity’s marketplace to the most expensive Axie ever at over $500,000. Still, users can quickly earn the initial investments back through regular gameplay. 

“Axie Infinity players can earn by battling, breeding, and trading NFT creatures called Axies. When you win an Axie battle, the reward is an in-game token called Small Love Potion or SLP for short. SLP is an important in-game token because it is required if you want to breed Axies. But if players are not in the business of breeding Axies, they can sell their SLP via a liquidity pool on a decentralized exchange such as Uniswap. Axie breeders buy the SLP so that they can breed more Axies to sell to other players,” explains Dizon.

A small love potion is worth around $0.06 at press time, and players can expect to win roughly ten of these when they win a game against another player. And in some parts of the world, enough wins is plenty to make a living.

Axie Infinity has become such an important social phenomenon in the Philippines. In the country where YGG started, there are now local solutions for buyers and sellers to exchange without Uniswap.

Through an organization like YGG, gamers can easily start playing by being loaned three Axies. In time, they return the original loan and then start earning money by selling in-game items. 

The combat in Axie Infinity is not all there is to the game. One of the most fascinating sides of Axie Infinity is not the combat but the breeding system of the Axies. Each Axie is stored in the Ethereum wallet of its owner. Provided the player holds enough small love potions, different Axies can breed together to create new ones.

These new Axies can be selected based on their combat skills, hence why certain Axies fetch incredible prices.

NFT Gaming: More Than a Trend

Axie Infinity is not the only game on the blockchain, though.

Players and investors have different options when it comes to investing that each come with their own advantages. One option is to invest in land in a certain game and develop it to create yield. Plots of land in popular virtual worlds or “metaverses” such as Decentraland can be bought and sold and developed to create profit.

Decentraland will soon host a virtual music festival for which users can already buy tickets on the blockchain.

Recently, YGG raised $1.3 million from VC firms such as Delphi Digital to continue investing in the games they love. They will use the fund to purchase various NFTs representing plots of virtual land and game assets. YGG not only wants to continue investing in Axie Infinity but also positions itself to be a mainstay in all games and metaverses on the blockchain.

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“We intend to develop this land and build on it, and then, the revenue generated and the profit earned from those investments will be shared with our guild.  The vision is to create the largest virtual world economy by onboarding millions of players to the metaverse while taking yield-generating stakes and optimizing our investments into significant assets within virtual world economies. Our guild already spans several different games and we’re giving opportunities for players to make a living doing what they love,” said Dizon. 

The most expensive Axie ever sold.
The most expensive Axie ever sold at 300 ETH.

The best-ranked players each season get a share of AXS, the native token of Axie Infinity. This token has a total market cap of almost $300 million, according to CoinGecko, so the rewards for the very best players are substantial.

The Future of NFTs

Since 2003, pro-gamers of Starcraft have been organized in teams and made gaming their day jobs. These were only a very select few players though, Axie Infinity flips that earning model on its head. The top players can earn large sums, but any regular user can make $20 a day farming the small love potions. The money earned while playing Axie Infinity is much more equitably distributed too.

While $20 a day might not be substantial in the U.S., in the Philippines, where median income was $277/month in 2018, this can represent more than double this average salary. In the places hard-hit by Covid, this can be a life-saving solution. Gazon said:

“Particularly for players in emerging economies, where job opportunities are limited and government relief following the COVID-19 lockdowns has been limited, the play-to-earn movement is changing lives for the better to deliver economic empowerment in its truest form and allow people to take control of their own financial potential. We’re already seeing this happen in places like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Venezuela, and I expect the movement will continue to spread rapidly.”

NFTs are having a large impact on the internet’s business models because now people can monetize their content in a way that was impossible before crypto. Rock bands, painters, performance artists are all releasing NFTs, and the impact for content creators can’t be understated.

Gaming is a different beast altogether though, earning money through games is not a new phenomenon, but the play-to-earn model’s democratization is unique to blockchain technology.

The real ownership of game assets uniquely allows games’ economies to be tied to real-world financial assets with liquid markets. For now, Axie Infinity allows thousands of players to earn a living by playing their game, and collectives like Yield Guild Games are cashing in on this trend. But the universe of blockchain-based games is only getting started. 

Imagine playing a quick game on public transport and buying your coffee with the profits. Whether it’s Axie Infinity or something else, the NFT revolution is coming to gaming.

Disclaimer: The author held ETH at the time of writing.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cryptobriefing.com/playing-crypto-games-living-is-more-than-meme/

Blockchain

Bitcoin: Should retail traders expect a price hike?

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Bitcoin’s large wallet inflows signal a bullish trend reversal in the following week. The price is currently around the $60000 level, however, with the increasing trade volume across spot exchanges, an increase of nearly 15% in less than 24 hours, there may be a bullish trend emerging in the asset’s price.

Why this metric signals the upcoming Bitcoin price trend reversal

Bitcoin Large Wallet Inflows || Source: Twitter

Based on the above chart, Bitcoin is in price discovery mode above $60045. There is strong support at the $57000 level and this is also a psychologically important level for Bitcoin. The current bullish price trend is further supported by the demand across exchanges. Buying bitcoin and selling June futures currently offers a 30% annualized USD denominated “risk free” return. A 3-month US Treasury bill yields 0.02%, which is 1500x less.

When Bitcoin’s price ended March with a 30% increase, it marked the sixth consecutive month of double-digit positive returns for traders. Historically the second quarter is considered a positive yielding quarter for Bitcoin. Bitcoin returns over 250% in the second quarter, based on the price chart. The current price is following this trend and the recovery from the drop below $60000, which was partly attributed to HODLers and partly to large wallet inflows is signaling a bullish trend. There is a spike in funding rates as the price nears the ATH. This is another sign of the bullish price action in Bitcoin.

Why this metric signals the upcoming Bitcoin price trend reversal

Bitcoin’s perpetual swap funding rates || Source: Skew

Based on the above chart, the increase in perpetual swap funding has corresponded with previous ATH as well. The current spike in perpetual swap funding can be considered to be an indicator of the next ATH and the bullish price trend. Traders can expect price discovery beyond the new ATH if the momentum and volatility increase consistently over the week.

Another metric that signals this trend is Bitcoin’s miner revenue. It just reached an ATH of $6.1 Million. The previous ATH was hit less than 10 days ago, on April 1, 2021. For retail traders, looking forward to long Bitcoin it is becoming cheaper to hedge the risk. The cost of hedging against a price drop using options is dropping. A large basis spread has opened up between CME Bitcoin Futures and the offshore market. This means compared to traders on other platforms, traders on CME don’t see much upside in Bitcoin, going forward. These traders are institutions, however, retail traders are relatively more bullish on Bitcoin.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-should-retail-traders-expect-a-price-hike

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Blockchain

Cardano, Bitcoin SV, Compound Price Analysis: 11 April

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Cardano saw a trend of falling trade volume that showed a market possibly in a phase of distribution. However, in this bull market, another leg upward can not be discounted. Bitcoin SV formed a bearish divergence and Compound saw demand rise at the $440 area.

Source: CoinStats

At the time of writing Bitcoin was trading at $59,656 with a marginal drop of over 1.5 percent in the past day’s time.

Cardano [ADA]

Cardano, Bitcoin SV, Compound Price Analysis: 11 April

Source: ADA/USDT on TradingView

Cardano showed a lack of movement in price on the charts over the past few weeks. The range from $1 to $1.47 has its 50% mark at $1.21, and that is a strong level of resistance for the price. ADA has bounced between the $1.17 and $1.21 levels, and buyers and sellers are in equilibrium, according to the OBV.

There is an upper and lower boundary on the OBV that needs to be broken to confirm a move above $1.34, or below $1, in the weeks to come. However, this will take time to develop, and the $1.2-$1.3 area is likely to be a supply till the OBV starts ticking higher to show increased demand.

Bitcoin SV [BSV]

Cardano, Bitcoin SV, Compound Price Analysis: 11 April

Source: BSV/USDT on TradingView

Bitcoin SV showed a bearish divergence between price and momentum. This was not an immediate sell signal, but it showed an overextended move and a pullback to the $260 area can be seen. The Stochastic RSI was also in the overbought area.

While individually neither indicator can be taken to show a sell signal, taken together and with the fact that trading volume is trending lower even as price reaches higher, the conclusion can only be that BSV is due for a pullback.

Compound [COMP]

Cardano, Bitcoin SV, Compound Price Analysis: 11 April

Source: COMP/USDT on TradingView

COMP formed a descending triangle pattern in the past month and broke out strongly to climb to the peak of the pattern at $520. COMP was able to touch $550 before selling pressure forced it to trade at $451 at the time of writing.

In the past few days, COMP has formed equal lows at $443 even as the Awesome Oscillator began to move back toward the zero line. This showed that bearish momentum was slowing down. The Chaikin Money Flow also climbed back above the +0.05 mark to indicate capital flow into the market was on the rise, a sign of demand for COMP.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-bitcoin-sv-compound-price-analysis-11-april

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Where are these altcoins headed ETH, DOT, ADA, UNI?

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Based on price action in March and the first 10 days of April, a trend has emerged on the price charts of ETH, DOT, ADA, UNI. Among others, these altcoins have witnessed a fair share of price rallies and consolidation over the past month. In the case of ETH, after outperforming Bitcoin consistently throughout March, by +36%, ETH’s price failed to cross the psychologically important price level of $2000.

After Feb 2021, the price crossed $2000 in April, and this was critical to ETH’s price rally. Leading alts to a bullish week, ETH hit a new ATH of $2197 earlier on April 10, 2021, with over 12% dominance. The rally is clearly in price discovery mode and sentiment continues to remain bullish. The relationship between ETH’s volume and volatility and its impact on price becomes clear from the following chart.

Where are these altcoins headed ETH, DOT,ADA, UNI

ETH volatility vs trade volume || Source: Kraken Report

Based on the above chart, the volatility has a direct correlation with the trade volume and the price of ETH. The volatility is currently at the 2020 average level, and the trade volume is above that level. In the case of DOT, the first week of April was bullish when compared to March, and the prices remained largely below the $45 level in March.

With the launch of Parachain auctions and crowd loans, DOT’s price climbed to the $45 level. For DOT, the 1-month return was nearly 10%, 3-month at 300%, and the annualized trade volume has hit 95%. DOT’s current price level and the trade volume signal that DOT may remain largely rangebound for the following weeks.

ADA’s price rally could not be sustained, the correction in March 2021 led to a price drop of over 10%. ADA’s volatility and trade volume share a similar relationship with Ethereum, and it has an impact on the asset’s price in the short and long term. After over three rounds of alt rallies in the current market cycle, ADA may have slowed down, to consolidate before the price climbs higher.

Where are these altcoins headed ETH, DOT,ADA, UNI

ADA Volatility vs Trade Volume || Source: Kraken Report

UNI with a market capitalization above $14 billion ranks in the top crypto assets, Uniswap V3, and the upcoming mainnet launch were key events that had an impact on UNI’s price. UNI ranks as the fourth largest DeFi app with a high TVL. UNI is likely to rally now, with steadily increasing trade volume. Among top DeFi tokens that made a comeback after ETH’s price crossed $2000 earlier this month, UNI made an impact by hitting $32, which is close to its ATH of $36 from March 2021, based on data from CoinMarketCap. The current on-chain metrics and UNI’s trade volume signals a bearish trend in the asset’s price.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/where-are-these-altcoins-headed-eth-dotada-uni

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