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As the Play-to-Earn Economy Slows, Axie Infinity Players Push Back on Fee Increases

Even while the fee increase benefits authors and the community treasury, the Ethereum-based NFT game has irritated some participants.

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#nft #nfthours #axieinfinity #feehike

Axie Infinity is the market leader in blockchain gaming, having just surpassed $4 billion in total NFT trading volume. But it’s also battling a dwindling play-to-earn economy, which creator Sky Mavis is working to fix, and many players aren’t happy with this week’s announcement of a transaction fee hike.

Sky Mavis said yesterday that the transaction charge on Axie Infinity’s marketplace would increase from 4.25 percent to 5.25 percent starting March 7. This will apply to all transactions on the Axie marketplace, which is powered by Ronin, an Ethereum-based proprietary sidechain scaling solution.

Why is it necessary to increase the fee? It’s mostly to reward community members that bring in new players, according to Sky Mavis. The developer will implement a system that will allow Axie gamers to enter a code from a specific content producer—such as a streamer or influencer—and that content creator will receive an extra 1% of their earnings.

Fans of other popular online games, such as Fortnite and Roblox, will be familiar with the system, compensating content creators with a percentage of digital currency purchases when their unique code is utilized. In addition, Axie Infinity will introduce a model variation to the Web3 game space, with millions of players and an active online community.

When players shop on the Axie marketplace without using a creator code, the entire 5.25 percent goes to the community treasury, which is used to fund various marketing and growth initiatives for Axie Infinity.

Axie’s struggles

The rate hike comes amid a financial crisis for Axie Infinity’s unusual play-to-earn model, which pays players with crypto tokens for playing the game but needs an initial investment in potentially expensive NFT assets.

Last summer, Axie Infinity exploded in popularity, generating billions of dollars in NFT sales and boosting the value of the game’s AXS governance token and SLP reward token. However, trade volume has plummeted in the previous three months, with both tokens—particularly SLP—falling precipitously from their respective price maxima.

Sky Mavis announced a series of adjustments to the token rewards program earlier this month, with more to coming, to reduce the quantity of SLP given daily.

Following the announcement, Axie Infinity’s critical KPIs enjoyed a brief spike, but SLP is still down 95% from its peak. According to CryptoSlam data, February was Axie’s worst NFT volume since May 2021, with $82.5 million. Axie’s most significant month of trading volume last August was $848 million, a drop of more than 90%.

Raising Axie’s marketplace transaction fee amid a recession has enraged many users, who have expressed their displeasure on social media. In addition, some players were irritated by the prospect of paying extra to trade NFT products, especially given their recent depreciation.

Others believed that such a significant issue should have been a community vote through the Axie Infinity DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). But unfortunately, the game has yet to integrate a voting system, even though the AXS coin was built for governance.

“Sentiment around Axie is shallow, and this is what they do,” a Twitter user as Axie Coach wrote. “By not repairing it sooner, Axie damaged their economy.” Axie is gradually removing free transactions to get you to acquire a new coin that they already possess a large amount of. Axie has now raised the tax. “Your governance token is powerless.”

However, not everyone is depressed by the news. “This is the start of something new, and creators receiving 1% of marketplace transactions is a great gain,” Brycent, a leading Axie, and play-to-earn gaming streamer and Twitter Spaces presenter, tweeted. However, he did warn that the concept could have negative consequences, such as a rise in shilling.

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Jeff Zirlin, the co-founder of Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis Growth Lead, defended the fee hike on Twitter. He believes it was the most sustainable solution for supporting creators who add value to the ecosystem. Furthermore, when all costs and royalties were considered, he claimed that Axie’s marketplace fee was still lower than many NFT collections traded on the significant Ethereum marketplace OpenSea.

In the midst of it all, Zirlin also stated that the marketplace charge should be chosen by the community when the capability allows.

“As the last point, I believe the marketplace charge should be established by governance once that capability is enabled,” he added. “The marketplace fee can be altered again in the future, and as usual, we can adjust if we find a better solution and source of cash.”

In response to criticism, Sky Mavis said late yesterday afternoon that it “would be pushing out the formal launch” of the creator code program to get feedback from the community. According to Quinn Campbell, the studio’s marketing lead, Sky Mavis will begin sharing more details about its proposed approach and will gather comments from players via Twitter Spaces.

While the creator code program’s structure may alter, Campbell said the fee increase on March 7 “will be part of all creative and community discussions over the following few weeks.”

Axie Infinity is undergoing structural and gameplay adjustments and dealing with current economic issues. The Ethereum-based game will soon introduce free “starting Axies” that will allow new players to try the game without having to initially purchase NFTs, as well as a revamped battle mode before eventually adding other land-based gameplay.

Despite the opposition, Axie’s AXS token has risen 13 percent in the previous 24 hours to a current price of over $57, outperforming the approximately 6% increase in the whole cryptocurrency market, according to CoinGecko data. In the same timeframe, the SLP token has gained over 3%.

ART & COLLECTABLES

Emirates will accept Bitcoin payments and introduce NFT collectibles

According to chief operating officer Adel Ahmed Al-Redha, Emirates is embracing emerging technologies such as the metaverse and NFTs to increase its reach.

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Emirates, the largest airline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has announced intentions to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments and issue nonfungible tokens (NFTs) for trading on its websites.

The chief operating officer of Emirates, Adel Ahmed Al-Redha, reportedly stated at a media gathering held at the Arabian Travel Market that the Dubai-based airline will be onboarding new employees who will be focused on blockchain-related projects such as crypto payments, blockchain tracking, metaverse, and NFTs.

Al-Redha says the airline is looking into adopting blockchain to maintain track of aircraft records. In addition, the airline official stated that the metaverse may be used to digitalize activities such as operations, training, website sales, and other airline-related events. This, according to the airline’s chief operating officer, will make the processes “more engaging.”

Apart from that, Al-Redha stated that the aviation business is gradually making a comeback as more and more travelers arrive. To broaden its appeal, the company is adopting new technologies such as a Bitcoin payment service and tradeable NFT collectibles.

Airports and airlines all across the world are investigating ways to combine blockchain-based technologies with cryptocurrency payments. Air France teamed with various firms in February 2021 to develop a blockchain-based mechanism for verifying COVID-19 test results.

The Latvian airline airBaltic added Dogecoin (DOGE) and Ether (ETH) to its payment choices in March 2021. Since 2014, the airline has accepted BTC and other cryptocurrencies such as USD Coin (USDC), Binance USD (BUSD), and Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele declared in October 2021 that the airline Volaris El Salvador would accept BTC payments. El Salvador pushed for BTC adoption when it declared the cryptocurrency official tender.

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ART & COLLECTABLES

The Chainsmokers are the First in the Music Industry to Share their new Album Royalties with Fans via the NFT Drop

The famed music duo The Chainsmokers’ new album features an NFT giveaway, which provides 5000 fans a 1% royalty split.

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#nft #nfthours #chainsmokers #royalties #cut

The electronic music duo, The Chainsmokers, are best known for classics like “Closer” and “Paris,” but they’ve also established a reputation as Web3 pioneers. The most recent example is their new album “So Far So Good,” which will include a drop of 5,000 NFTs that will allow fans to share in 1% of the revenues.

This is the most high-profile case of musicians using NFTs to distribute royalties to fans to date. While artists such as Nas and Diplo have published royalty-generating NFTs for individual songs, this is the first time a band has done so for an entire album for free.

In an interview, Taggart and bandmate Alex Pall said that they chose their most devoted followers, of which 5000 will receive an NFT, by examining data from concert purchases, song streaming, and Discord engagement.

In this scenario, the NFTs will grant fans access to a members-only area of The Chainsmokers’ Discord channel and the opportunity to meet with the duo personally.

Those who get the NFTs will be notified when they receive a payment on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. If customers decide to sell the NFT, a smart contract (basically a computer program) will transfer 7.5 percent of the earnings to The Chainsmokers (one of the benefits of NFTs for artists is the opportunity to receive a share of secondary sales), which the duo plans to gift to the album’s songwriters.

The new record will be released on Friday, and the NFTs will be handed out on May 17. The Chainsmokers use Royal, a platform that uses the Polygon network and was behind Nas’ and other significant artists’ recent NFT drops, to distribute the NFTs.

The Chainsmokers claim to have arranged for the NFTs to be released in a fashion that does not require their supporters to have any crypto knowledge. While crypto enthusiasts can request that the NFT be sent straight to their Web3 wallet, beginners can request that Royal construct a wallet and rely on the site to display and store it.

To reduce fan friction, the duo has arranged for them to be able to acquire and transfer NFTs without incurring any transaction fees. So allow Royal to establish a wallet for them, which will be shown and stored on the site.

The music industry is entering the Web 3 era

The Chainsmokers aren’t new to the crypto industry, but this is their first time issuing NFTs. For years, the two have run an investment group that has sponsored various Web3 projects, including Royal, created by another artist, Justin Blau, aka DJ 3Lau.

According to Pall, Pall and Taggart first discovered bitcoin six years ago while playing a corporate gig for Google. A random guy approached their trailer during a break between scenes and gave them a blue streak about the revolutionary power of blockchain. This event convinced them of the technology’s promise.

Pall claims that they recognized right away how an immutable blockchain record might help them create new relationships with their fans and, potentially, solve the problem of secondary ticket sales. Scalpers (sometimes using bots) sweep up large blocks of tickets and resale them for an enormous profit, which has long irritated fans and singers alike.

Using NFTs on a blockchain can help bands avoid scalpers and ensure that resale earnings go to them or their fans.

The Chainsmokers are a rising number of musicians who have realized that blockchains can be a better alternative to traditional economic structures that include layers of attorneys and music industry middlemen.

Blockchain-based record and distribution platforms give musicians a new method to communicate with listeners and provide the most dependable approach for monitoring royalties, which has been a long-standing issue in the industry.

The Chainsmokers are eager to point out that NFTs and other blockchain-based technologies have yet to be demonstrated in the music industry. “Everyone is still trying to figure this out,” Taggart says.

However, the rising popularity of platforms like Royal, which just funded $55 million, and the growing number of prominent musicians adopting crypto suggest that Web3 is likely to be the way forward for the music industry.

If that’s the case, the NFTs linked with their record will be yet another win for The Chainsmokers, both as musicians and businesspeople. One of the duo’s other businesses is a successful tequila brand.

When asked how they got their entrepreneurial spirit, the duo praised Jimmy Buffett, claiming that the Margaritaville singer built a corporate empire by carefully selecting ventures that fit his brand and personality.

Pall remarked that the duo’s Web3 endeavors would come in handy if his stage appeal wanes. But, he joked, “I’m not going to look amazing in leather pants forever.”

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ART & COLLECTABLES

Madonna’s Nude NFT Debut Elicits a Range of Reactions from the Community

The community reacted to Madonna and Beeple’s latest NFT release in a variety of ways, from being inspired to criticizing the artwork’s “flaws.”

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#nft #nfthours #madonna #beeple #mothernature

Mother of Creation is a series of nonfungible tokens created by the queen of pop and record-breaking performer Beeple. It includes three NFTs titled Mother of Technology, Mother of Nature, and Mother of Evolution. The NFTs depict Madonna in 3D, giving birth to robot centipedes, butterflies, and plants.

While the markets were going crazy over stablecoins displaying instability, Madonna and Beeple thought it was time to show the community something even crazier: NFTs depicting a 3D model of the 63-year-old singer’s vagina. 

Following the release, the community reacted in various ways, with some being inspired and others criticizing the artwork. Emiko Inoue, a Twitter user, stated that the artwork is “the most motivating” and would “gladly buy one without thinking” if she could afford it.

Twitter user artbyjstelco, on the other hand, stated that he “totally despises” the artwork. Many aspects of the NFT were attacked, including how nature should “not wear make-up” and have “artificial tits and hair.” According to the Twitter user, giving birth is a painful process, and the artwork does not reflect this.

The NFTs are presently valued 28 Ether (ETH), which is around $56,000 at writing. The auction will conclude in 35 hours. The money raised from the drop will go to three separate charities that help women and children worldwide, according to the collection’s description on the NFT marketplace SuperRare.

Three-dimensional NFTs are becoming more popular. Sony announced a partnership with Theta Labs to launch 3D NFTs last week. This, according to the electronics company, illustrates the capabilities of its new product, the Spatial Reality Display. Users can examine objects in 3D on the monitor without having to wear standard 3D equipment.

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