Axie Infinity (AXS) price reverses course with 50%+ gain ahead of Origin launch

Axie Infinity (AXS) price reverses course with 50%+ gain ahead of Origin launch

AXS and RON price are turning bullish as excitement builds for the launch of Axie Infinity: Origin.

Play-to-earn (P2E) gaming was one of the hottest sectors in the cryptocurrency market in 2021 and based off the recent moves of Yuga Labs and Bored Ape Yacht Club, the gaming industry could continue to be a winner in 2022.

Axie Infinity was the first game to really capture widespread attention and highlight the possibilities of what P2E had to offer and it is continuing to lead the way in 2022 as the protocol prepares for its next major launch.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of AXS increased 56.5% over the past ten days as an increase in its 24-hour trading volume has lifted AXS to a daily high of $69.82 on March 24.

AXS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for AXS on March 14, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. AXS price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for AXS climbed into the green on March 14 and hit a high of 78 around 24 hours before the price began to increase 52.32% over the next nine days.

Three reasons for the climbing price of AXS include the upcoming launch of Axie Infinity: Origin, the steady increase of active users and AXS stakers and the rising popularity of the Ronin sidechain which enables Axie Infinity gameplay.

Axie Infinity: Origin

The most significant development underway helping to boost the forward outlook for AXS is the upcoming launch of Axie Infinity: Origin, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

According to a recent report from Delphi Digital, Origin is a “completely reimagined version of the popular Axie Battles game that everyone is familiar with.”

Origin will include new game mechanics designed to improve the overall player experience, such as free starter Axies to help attract new players to the game, a reimagined storyline that adds depth to the player experience and the addition of active cards for eye and ear body parts.

The update will also introduce new in-game items like runes and charms which will act as power-ups for Axies and require players to burn the platform’s native SLP token.

Active users and AXS stakers are on the rise

The rising price of AXS has also been given a boost by the steadily increasing Axie Infinity userbase which is now at an all-time high of 207,209 total users according to data from Dune Analytics.

Axie Infinity total user count. Source: Dune Analytics

While the pace of new users onboarding into the ecosystem has slowed along with activity in the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem, the increase is still significant and indicates ongoing adoption.

Non-gamers have also been incentivized to hold AXS with a current staking reward of 73% offered through the Axie Infinity platform.

AXS staking statistics. Source: Axie Infinity

As shown in the graphic above, nearly one-third of the circulating supply of AXS is currently staked on the protocol earning a total daily reward of 50,516 AXS.

Related: Blockchain gamers see playing NFT games as a potential full-time job, says new survey

Steady growth in the Ronin network

A third factor bringing added momentum to Axie Infinity is the growth taking place on the Ronin network, an Ethereum (ETH) sidechain that was built for Axie Infinity by Sky Mavis is to become the default NFT scaling solution for crypto gaming.

Axie Infinity is currently the only game running on Ronin but that hasn’t stopped the network from consistently ranking in the top 3 in terms of total value locked compared to other Ehtereum bridges, with nearly $3.4 billion in value currently locked on Ronin. 

Total value locked on Ethereum bridges. Source: Dune Analytics

That will soon change, however, as Ronin will soon see the introduction of third party developers which includes “over 1,000 applications from teams wanting to build on Ronin” according to Delphi Digital.

This has the potential to lead to an influx of new users to the Ronin ecosystem which could also benefit Axie Infinity as new users check out the top-performing project on the network.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Report: Axie Infinity accounted for nearly two-thirds of blockchain-game NFT transactions in 2021

Report: Axie Infinity accounted for nearly two-thirds of blockchain-game NFT transactions in 2021

In second and third place were sports highlights marketplace NBA Top Shot with $827 million and community gaming platform Loot with $242 million, respectively.

According to a recent report curated by NonFungible, players of the monster-battle nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, game Axie Infinity transacted nearly $3.5 billion worth of NFTs in 2021. This accounts for almost two-thirds of all NFTs transacted in the entire blockchain gaming industry in 2021. In second and third place were sports highlights marketplace NBA Top Shot with $827 million and community gaming platform Loot with $242 million, respectively.

Created by Vietnamese video game developer Sky Mavis in 2018, the game contains creatures called “Axies” that players collect and use to complete daily quests, duel other players, etc. Every Axie is an NFT minted on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Completing tasks with Axies rewards players with Smooth Love Potions (SLP), which can be sold for cash on cryptocurrency exchanges, thereby generating a stream of income for players. On the whole, Axie Infinity accounted for 19% of the estimated $17 billion in total NFT transactions last year.

Last November, Axie Infinity surged significantly in popularity, especially among gamers in developing countries, where one can potentially earn more playing Axie Infinity than working minimum wage jobs. However, players have complained to its developers that their earnings have fallen in light of SLP falling in price by 67.5% in the past year.

Although, the price decline can be partly attributed due to rising token inflation from more and more players joining and playing the game. At the time of publication, there are nearly 2.7 million monthly Axie players, compared to just north of 1 million last March. But from July 2021 to now alone, the circulating supply of SLP increased from 541.7 million to 5.13 billion. 

Overall, blockchain gaming enthusiasts bought and sold $5.18 billion worth of NFTs last year, spread across 20,986,532 sales. In addition, there were a total of 112 blockchain games and 1.88 million active wallets. Based on analysis by NonFungible, these statistics accounted for 2.18% of the world’s total gaming market in 2021.

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Yield Guild Games Hits 20K Axie Infinity P2E Scholar Milestone

Yield Guild Games Hits 20K Axie Infinity P2E Scholar Milestone

There are now more than 20,000 new scholars in the guild, which is still seeing sustained demand for play-to-earn gaming.

The popular gaming guild YGG has reached a milestone in terms of new scholars for the Axie Infinity platform and various other play-to-earn games.

Yield Guild Games reported 20,700 unique Axie Infinity scholars in February, an increase of 8,500% since the same month last year when there were just 241. The milestone marks a “new record in the play-to-earn space” said YGG in an announcement shared with Cointelegraph.

The play-to-earn scholarships allow new players to borrow a team of Axie NFTs from the Guild. Their in-game earnings are then split between the player, the community manager, and the YGG DAO.

YGG reported that in February, scholars farmed more than 26.4 million SLP, the native token for Axie Infinity. This figure represents a 57% increase from January’s farming figures.

It added that more than 18.4 million SLP (worth around $360,000 as of the end of February) or 70% of the total, was received by scholars, 20% went to the scholarship manager, and 10% to the Guild.

Despite the slide in SLP (Smooth Love Potion) prices, there has been sustained demand for scholarships with YGG. SLP is currently trading at around $0.018, down more than 95% from its July 2021 all-time high of $0.40 according to CoinGecko.

YGG is a decentralized community of play-to-earn gamers based in Southeast Asia and Latin America. It operates across several games investing in yield-generating in-game nonfungible tokens (NFTs) that are lent out to the players. It secured a $4 million funding round to invest in NFTs in June 2021.

Related: Which play-to-earn games are better than Axie Infinity?

In addition to Axie scholarships, YGG has launched similar incentives for the soccer-themed cyberpunk play-to-earn game CyBall. The 1,000 scholarships were snapped up quickly and the program is now full but YGG said that more will be offered soon through its Discord channel.

In February, Cointelegraph reported that the YGG had launched a new gaming-focused proof-of-stake blockchain called Oasys.

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Web3 gaming in the third world; Axie facilitating billions

Web3 gaming in the third world; Axie facilitating billions

Following quantitative data of Axie Infinity generating billions of dollars in transactional volume, we speak to experts from the blockchain gaming space about the morality of P2E, as well as alternate, more consumer-conscious models.

The research department of blockchain analytics platform Nansen have published a comprehensive guide to popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, calculating quantitative insights such as that 2.8 million unique addresses are currently holding 11.1 million Axies, alongside that 97% of those users hold a minimum of three Axie nonfungible tokens, or NFT’s.

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn game constructed around the collection of, and interaction with, digital pet avatars called Axies. Built by Vietnamese gaming studio Sky Mavis in March 2018, the game rose to cultural prominence during 2019 following the emergence of stories in which players from third-world countries such as Venezuela and Philippines were making a full-time living off of Axie’s native crypto assets: Smooth Love Potion (SLP) and Axie Infinity (AXS).

In May 2021, 22-year-old John Aaron Ramos, recognized as Magnus TV within the gaming community, announced that Axie Infinity had empowered him to make two lucrative property purchases in the Philippines.

Nansen’s report follows the trend of other public assessments of Axie, principally focusing on the perks of authenticated ownership of in-game assets, secondary marketplace trading opportunities, decentralized governance, as well as the impending potential for cross-game interoperability, among others.

On the subject of decentralization, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin was infamously inspired to pursue the technology following a distressing experience on World of Warcraft, a game previously owned by Activision Blizzard before their acquisition by Microsoft for $69 billion in January.

Buterin stated that “Blizzard removed the damage component from my beloved Warlock’s Siphon Life spell.” In other words, Blizzard implemented an upgrade which recalibrated the power dynamics of certain characters and weapons, and therefore Buterin became what’s known in the gaming scene as a ‘nerfed’.

The prevalence of such incidents across the wider gaming community has exposed the reliance of centralized servers, and in turn, become a point of which to drive new innovation from.

An infographic from the Nansen report visualizes the proposed impact of integrating NFT’s within gaming ecosystems, signalling a transition from the traditional linear top-down model, to a circular one which promotes a user-governed DAO mechanism to grant players self-sovereignty in their quest for entertainment.

Source: Nansen – What is Axie Infinity and how do you play it? 

In a recent endeavour to refute criticisms levelled at gaming studios adopting and integrating NFT’s, the co-founder of popular streaming platform Twitch, Justin Kan, argued that gamers should embrace the emergence of blockchain, dispelling fears that gaming uniqueness and environmental impact, among others, are insurmountable obstacles for the industry to overcome, or perhaps more likely, find consensus on.

Related: The ethics of hiring cheap Filipino staff: Crypto in the Philippines Part 2

Considering data revelations that Axie Infinity has generated $1.3 billion dollar of revenue, and $4 billion in transactional volume over course of the last year — a portion of which equates to company profit — we spoke to a number of experts and enthusiasts from the space to attain a balanced verdict on the genuine potential of blockchain play-to-earn games.

John Chen, the President of decentralized layer-2 protocol Umbrella Network provided contextualization to the thesis that blockchain gaming can be seen to glorify the fortunes of a minority of users, typically located in under-developed nations, as justification for what could potentially be deemed a modern forms of resource exploitation.

Chen noted that “We are in the early stages of blockchain gaming — too early to suggest there is a narrative for blockchain gaming. Additionally, we don’t see it as resource exploitation”, before stating:

“Certainly, those who are participating as gamers in developing nations don’t seem to see it that way, as P2E games are providing a previously unavailable source of income, oftentimes in amounts that are making a significant impact on people’s livelihoods.”

As a resident of Manila in the Philippines, Head of Marketing at Laguna Games, Brian Akaka, revealed that societal incidents such as “COVID, vaccine availability, country development” have made a significant impact on adoption rates of P2E games in South East Asia, before continuing:

“To call them resource exploitation is a First World view. Here it is much more about an opportunity that didn’t exist before, although one with a high barrier of entry. Certainly, US based media are going to cover it from a certain perspective, but it’s important to note that it is a different perspective here.”

Experts and enthusiasts across the space have often touted that attaching financial incentives such as NFT’s and tokens to gaming platforms serves as an innovative business model which could propel them into a new landscape, while others foresee the potential pitfalls with the implementation aspect. 

The decision of Axie Infinity to remodel their reward system came under scrutiny by some over the last few weeks, a move which saw an removal of daily quest and adventure modes, as well as a reduction in the daily supply of Smooth Love Potions (SLP) by approximately 56%. According to the platform, the inference measure was imperative to avoid the risk of “total and permanent economic collapse.”

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Play-to-Earn Blockchain Game Axie Infinity Surpasses $4 Billion in All-Time NFT Sales

Play-to-Earn Blockchain Game Axie Infinity Surpasses $4 Billion in All-Time NFT SalesThis week, Axie Infinity, the blockchain-based online video game crafted by the Vietnamese software studio Sky Mavis, surpassed $4 billion in all-time non-fungible token (NFT) sales. Currently, the play-to-earn (P2E) game launched in 2018 is the third-largest NFT platform in terms of all-time sales. The Sky Mavis Crafted Blockchain Game Axie Infinity Records More Than […]
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