NFTs have arguably moved from being a minor player in the crypto and blockchain sphere to a more prominent one in popular culture. Indeed, the seeming hoopla around NFTs appears to be pushing increased adoption of digital currencies, as cryptocurrencies and decentralization appear to pervade the debate across social, political, and economic lines.
Gaming has frequently been mentioned as a prospective use case for the commercialization of digital collectibles inside the NFT domain. There appears to be an increasing convergence of gaming, blockchain, and the virtual economy within the scope of play-to-earn NFTs.
Projects like Axie Infinity, which combine the delight gamers get from playing games with the possibility to make money in the form of cryptocurrencies, have seen substantial growth within this confluence point. As a result of their growing popularity, the token value of these NFT games has increased, resulting in even greater patronage.
NFT play-to-earn gaming could be the next big thing in the crypto economy. Because of the model’s rapid rise in popularity, it may soon be referenced in the same language as other aspects of bitcoin commerce like mining, staking, and trading, at least in terms of wealth generation potential.
$1-billion Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity (AXS) surpassed $1 billion in all-time volume on August 9, confirming the game’s status as one of the most important initiatives in the current bullish NFT epoch. The NFT game reportedly generated $780 million in sales from over 1.4 million transactions between July 9 and August 9.
According to data from Similarweb, the Axie Infinity website was listed in the top 1,200 sites in the world as of the end of July, with internet traffic nearly tripling in the last six months. Additionally, Axie Infinity announced on Twitter on August 6 that it has reached one million daily active players.
This announcement of Axie’s one-million-user milestone provides insight into the app’s rapid rise in popularity. The game’s userbase has surged 1,000 percent in the same time as the Axie token price has increased 18-fold since early June. AXS and other comparable tokens have defied the crypto price fall trend that has been in place since mid-May, owing to the increasing appeal of the play-to-earn NFT gaming wave.
The NFT game has risen to become one of the most valuable crypto ventures in the business because of Axie’s remarkable growth over the last two months. As of this writing, AXS is ranked among the top 40 cryptocurrency assets by market capitalization, with price action trends indicating a possible climb past the $100 barrier in the near term – a move that would boost the token’s year-to-date performance to more than 18,700%.
The microeconomics of play-to-earn
Many crypto and blockchain use cases face the “mainstream adoption” dilemma, which involves determining how their unique protocols and operations will gain widespread interest within and beyond the cryptocurrency industry. For example, Play-to-earn gaming for nonfungible tokens could be the key to altering the narrative around digital collectibles and blockchain gaming.
For starters, the possibility to earn crypto as a reward for playing games is likely to offer economic incentives for would-be adopters, whether they are casual or hardcore gamers. There’s even evidence that titles like Axie Infinity are becoming something of an occupation for the younger generation, particularly in areas affected by COVID-19’s present economic downturns.
In May, an Axie Infinity player from the Philippines could purchase a home with the money earned from the NFT game. According to data from Similarweb, the Philippines accounted for nearly half of all worldwide web traffic to the platform in July, with the website ranking as the 33rd most popular in the country.
Axie Infinity is a popular game in Southeast Asia, developed by Sky Mavis, a gaming firm based in Vietnam. South America, particularly Argentina and Brazil, is a big supporter of the NFT game title.
Since the summer of 2020, play-to-earn NFT games appear to have taken on a life of their own, attracting a growing number of gamers. This steadily growing interest, combined with the current NFT craze, has most likely helped propel such blockchain gaming titles to even greater heights.
Dragos Dunica, the co-founder of DappRadar, a decentralized application analytics platform, commented on the intersection of decentralized finance (DeFi) and gaming in a conversation, saying:
“At the moment, we’re witnessing a convergence of DeFi and gaming features to promote interaction and usage. The most popular games are developing environments where users can not only own a one-of-a-kind NFT but also use it for a reward within the same platform.”
According to Dunica, the present trend is the beginning of a “true revolution” in gaming and decentralized applications (DApps), which will likely spill over into conventional games. “The idea of transferable NFTs for in-game stuff, for example, will be a game-changer in the future,” Dunica continued.
According to DappRadar’s Axie Infinity dashboard, the game’s all-time volume is around $1.4 billion, based on more than 3.1 million sales. Since its launch, the gaming site has attracted over 416,300 dealers.
Nonfungible transformation: A new virtual existence
The growing popularity of blockchain-based play-to-earn games provides another window into how NFTs appear to be changing digital interaction. As Craig Russo, director of innovation at PolyientX, an NFT vault, and marketplace protocol, put it:
“Within the NFT sector, play-to-earn is a high-potential area, and we’re already seeing some amazing market validation, which has resulted in a price increase across most gaming-related tokens. Play-to-earn gaming, on the other hand, is relatively niche, and significant inroads into the mainstream gaming ecosystem will be required before adoption levels rival those of non-blockchain gaming segments like esports.”
He claims that projects such as Ape In, an NFT-driven virtual environment, are already focused on a “consumer-friendly” approach to DeFi by incorporating features like in-game character staking. Such initiatives to boost NFT liquidity, according to Russo, will aid in the transformation of nonfungible tokens into more productive assets, hence increasing their on-chain utility.
“The idea of spending time in a virtual environment is not as unusual as it once was,” says Dunica, who believes the transition to a digital lifestyle is proceeding at a rapid speed.
Given the rise of platforms like Axie Infinity and the opportunity for gamers to retain ownership, NFT play-to-earn games could be the “first meaningful mass adoption use case in the blockchain space.”
NFTmania to Decrease? Volumes of NFT Trades have Begun to Decrease
Although the volumes of NFT trading achieved tremendous heights in August, they decreased dramatically in September.
Investors appear to have drastically lessened their demand for non-fungible tokens, reaching all-time highs in August. Indeed, the NFT-based trade volumes at Ethereum did not exceed $100 million in the last three days, while in August, they exceeded $500 million for one day.
The Volumes of NFT Trade to the South
According to Alex Thorn, head of firmwide research at Galaxy Digital, a recent study has shown that daily volumes of non-food tokens have been falling steadily every day since the start of September.
For example, the NFT marketplace was about 300 million dollars on September 1 and 2; however, the marketplace was less than 100 million dollars after September 10. On the contrary, the trade volumes recorded successive all-time highs, exceeding $500 million daily on 29 August.
Talking of the amazing peak last month, OpenSea – a significant peer-to-peer marketplace that is not fungible – was an enormous milestone as its trading volume reached the 1 billion dollar mark.
Previously, the platform had a total transaction volume of about $100 million in 48 hours. Moreover, this figure was four times higher than that registered by the Open Sea during 2020.
However, the NFT industry has increased its popularity this year despite the fall in trading volume in September. Athletes, singers, entertainers, musicians, and other notable people who started their different digital arts became highly attractive.
Who Was Part of the NFT Craze
Some are particularly concerned with the mania that is not fungible among these renowned persons. For example, the famous quarterback Tom Brady is like this.
In April, the 43-year old, probably America’s most successful football player, said that his own NFT platform, Autograph, would be released. By doing that, Brady planned to bring together important names from diverse industries, such as sports, fashion, pop culture, and entertainment. They might produce individual digital pieces of art.
Since Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, and Tony Hawk joined the platform, his plan appears to have been tremendously successful.
Eminem, a hip-hop giant, also stepped onto the NFT bandwagon. After working with the digital art auction platform, Nifty Gateway, the 15-time Grammy winner, unveiled a collection of his own, dubbed Shady Con.
One of the latest examples of this is the American comic book powerhouse Marvel Entertainment. Firstly, in early August, the organization joined together to release Spider-Man NFTs with the blockchain digital collectibles market – VeVe. Shortly thereafter, new digital collections, including Captain America, Barnes’ Bocky, and Red Skull, were added to expand their not-fungible token universe.
China’s Official Media Slams the NFT Craze
Securities Times, a sister publication of the People’s Daily, issued an editorial piece criticizing non-fungible tokens as the hype and arguing that digital assets should serve the real economy by tokenizing actual assets.
The essay also stated that NFTs should benefit the real economy by tokenizing real-world assets such as real estate and automobiles.
Meanwhile, Chinese tech behemoths are capitalizing on the NFT market’s strong success. Last week, Alibaba’s online mall launched an NFT moon cake — a dessert to commemorate the Chinese traditional celebration Mid-Autumn Festival — and it sold out in one day. In addition, Alipay sold two batches of NFT artworks in June and August, totaling 160,000 pieces on the day of issue. Tencent’s NFT platform “Huanhe” was also introduced in August.
Despite this, Chinese technological behemoths have been the subject of antitrust investigations for nearly a year. Alibaba was fined 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.812 billion) in April after being accused of monopoly. In July, the Market Supervision and Administration agency issued 22 antitrust fines to technology companies, including Alibaba, Tencent, and Meituan. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, published an article on its website on Saturday headlined “Set Traffic Lights for Capital Expansion,” demonstrating the government’s antitrust determination.
Fees for Ethereum have Risen Dramatically
Yesterday, Ethereum’s average network fees increased by 300 percent, owing to the market’s fall and a hyped project’s minting event.
Fees on the Ethereum network have risen yet more. This time, it appears to have been triggered by two different factors: the market’s fall and the impending release of a new NFT collection.
Since May, Ethereum fees have been at an all-time high
The costs on Ethereum’s network have soared yet again, with a 300 percent spike in a single day. According to YCharts, they were at their highest position since late May yesterday.
On September 7th, the average costs for Ethereum were $21.29.
The entire community took notice, with many claiming that there are cheaper choices available from competing businesses.
What Caused the ETH Fees to Increase?
Two factors could be at the root of the exorbitant ETH expenses. The marketwide collapse that we saw yesterday seems to be the most obvious explanation right off the bat.
Over $2.5 billion in long and short positions were wiped out in just a few hours. This occurred as Bitcoin fell below $43,000 and Ethereum fell below $3,000.
Such events trigger panic sellers. People are flocking to exchanges, especially decentralized ones like Uniswap, to liquidate their holdings and avoid more losses. As a result, the number of requests for transactions rises, pushing up the ETH fees. It occurs whenever there is a sudden movement in any direction.
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