Earning while playing!?
How Axie Infinity became a living for some players
Get to know the real stories of Filipino players who found this blessing during the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic added an undesirable page into our lives this 2020. Numerous businesses have closed down, the stock market crashed for a while, many were left jobless, and a lot more “not-so-good-news” along the way.
To get through this pandemic, having a source of income is crucial. And this is where Axie Infinity’s Play-to-Earn mechanics has had an important role with fellow Filipino players.
Download the app via their official website. To be able to play the game, you need 3 Axies to form a team.
The cheapest Axie that you can get right now is worth 0.05 Ethereum (~$26 as of writing). However, not all inexpensive Axies are good at fighting. It would be best to have a good team synergy, which involves comparing the Axies’ stats and cards.
The requirement to buy 3 Axies is a huge barrier to many. Fortunately, there are scholarship programs that help you get onboarded on the game without purchasing any Axies.
When you get accepted into a program, you can enjoy their benefits, such as training from the mentors, profit sharing, and many more (depending on the terms you agreed on).
A scholarship channel can be found on Axie Infinity’s official Discord server, so you can try your luck (maybe someone has available slots, so give it a try).
On a side note, you can also follow our step by step guide to know how to manage your Axie Infinity Account with Trust Wallet.
Earning while playing!?
Yes, you heard that right! An in-game item called SLP (Small Love Potion) can be earned through daily quests, adventure (PvE), and arena (PvP). These SLPs (worth ~$0.029 as of writing) can be sold via secondary markets like Binance, Uniswap, and a few more exchanges.
Axie also gives away rewards to those players who manage to climb the ranks in the arena. Currently, the season 13 rewards are being sponsored by the Aave team. The prizes for the previous seasons were DAI (by MakerDAO), DGX (by Digix), and KNC (by the Kyber Network team).
With all that being said, Filipino players find this game attractive, and many have earned way beyond the minimum wage. It is also amazing to hear that some considered this as a way to put food on their table.
Two of those players are Kael and John. I reached out to Kael first to learn how he started playing.
Before the pandemic, he had a simple food business located at San Francisco Village, Muzon, Taytay, Rizal. Due to the worsening pandemic, he had to close it down and lose 3 months' worth of profit until only a small budget was left.
“covid diba.. 3 months kami wala hanapbuhay .. gang maubos na ung budget namin”
Lazing around was not an option; he was determined to find a way to generate a source of income.
Kael came across a post on Facebook regarding Axie Infinity. He gave it a shot by buying Php3.5k worth of Axies (~$73 as of writing) in the official marketplace without any idea about cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the very first place.
After a couple of weeks, he was able to get back his initial capital, pay the bills, and buy food for the family. While playing the game, he was also able to gain new friends and maximize his profits by selling his SLP and breeding Axies.
Another player that I talked with is John from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. He recently graduated from a Business Administration course. However, due to the pandemic, he could not find a job and had to stay at home. While talking with his cousin, he got introduced to the game and decided to save some money to buy Axies.
As the days passed, he realized that it would take some time to get a decent team, so John joined a scholarship program managed by Kookoo. Ever since he started playing during the 1st week of October, he has begun to be able to support his family financially, especially important now that his mother recently gave birth.
“Graduate napo ako kuya, but, tambay sa ngayon since na nag ka pandemic so eto po ang ginagawa kong income since na hindi po nakapag ayos ng mga requirements before.”
John’s story made me more curious about these scholarship programs. I had a chat with an Axie Angel named Kookoo, who is currently living in Cebu and manages a small group of scholars. He started playing last August 29 and helping the fellow community members, hence his Axie Angel role. Kookoo is currently guiding five personal scholars and onboarded eight users for a guild called YGG (Yield Guild Games).
“I started the program to acquire more SLP for my breeding hobby without buying and doing it myself. I also want to provide opportunities as well for people to play for free and earn.”
Being an Axie Angel at heart, he created a YouTube channel. The main reason was to save him and the new players some time by producing videos to guide them.
The local community appreciated the videos since there was little to no content using the Filipino language to teach the mechanics before Kookoo started doing it.
Due to the community’s response, he will be creating more content about crypto and blockchain, in general, to raise awareness about potential scamming attempts and giving education in general.
How to cash out
Where are these people cashing out their cryptos, you might ask. Most of the players are using Coins.ph as it supports cash in and out, paying bills, and transferring to other users.
Another service is BloomX, a registered company in Singapore and the Philippines, which recently expanded its service to the Axie Infinity PH community. BloomX provides fiat on and off-ramp, consulting, technical, and advisory services on blockchain development. A while ago, they reached a total of Php1M (~$20.8k) worth of trading volume. I approached Luis Buenaventura II, the Chief Strategic Officer and Founder of BloomX, to discover his insights regarding this milestone.
At first, they were expecting that most users would be cashing out their earnings to fiat. They even spent most of their time to make the cash-out process as smooth as possible.
However, most of the volume was players converting their fiat to crypto to fund their Axie teams. They expect that in the next 5–6 weeks, they will generate a total of Php10M (~$208.1k) in trading volume.
On a side note, since some of the customers were buying ETH, he also highlighted that the players were doing a lot more than just playing blockchain games.
“There’s no question in my mind that the interest in major cryptos will continue to grow, especially as the prices trend upwards. I fully expect Axie players to start looking into other aspects of cryptocurrencies as they become more familiar with the ecosystem and the industry at large.”
With all those stories and insights, it’s a no-brainer why Axie Infinity continues to grow. The community that they have established, especially on Discord, is a strong one. I am also amazed that there are little to no rude players, as is often common in internet space. The community members help each other with what kind of Axies to use, strategies to follow, and many more. With that kind of solid foundation, their play-to-earn revolution will continue to succeed in the long run.
Speaking of statistics, I was able to get the demographic data of the Axie Infinity marketplace users from Jiho, the team's Growth Lead.
Lo and behold! The Philippines is the number one country!
As a Filipino, we are usually quick in spreading the word. It matches Simon Kemp’s data; we are proactively creating digital communities to establish communication with those who have the same interests as us.
The game is still in the Alpha stage, and there are more features to come. Various game modes like the land gameplay are set to be released. I anticipate a continuous growth of the players, especially in regards to the Filipinos.
The life-changing play-to-earn revolution from Axie Infinity will drive more attention towards blockchain games and is likely to appeal to a mainstream audience. That being said, mass adoption is not set in stone, and we will see further innovations that involve these cute digital pets.