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We are entering the age of the metaverse…

We are entering the age of the metaverse…
August 21, 2023

Blockchain-based game Axie Infinity is now providing us with a view of the future. It’s a world dominated by metaverses. These are virtual worlds in which people can explore and interact with each other through a customized digital avatar.  Axie Infinity is a game built on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Axie’s native token AXS. This masterfully brings economic incentives into the Axie Infinity metaverse.  

Players earn AXS tokens as they win battles and accomplish tasks in the game. And AXS can be converted into Ethereum (ETH), which can then be converted into U.S. dollars. In this way, AXS earnings can be turned into a useful income stream.  In addition, the more AXS players earn, the more NFTs they can buy. These NFTs can also be sold on the secondary market to other players. That’s another potential income stream.  

Putting it all together – the more people who play the game, the more the price of AXS and the in-game NFTs will increase in value. It’s a virtuous cycle of sorts. The more players play, the more they earn, and the more valuable their cryptocurrency and NFTs become.

And this economic model has been an incredible success.  Axie Infinity is now generating $1.5 billion in annual revenue. And the AXS token has absolutely exploded. The token was priced at $0.60 at the start of the year. Today, one AXS trades for about $121. 

That’s a 20,000% gain year-to-date.  And AXS now commands a $30 billion, fully diluted market capitalization. That puts it on par with well-known companies like Southwest Airlines, Fifth Third Bank, and Equifax. But here’s the thing – this incredible success has pushed the price of AXS tokens and Axie Infinity NFTs so high that many people can’t afford them. It’s too expensive to buy the tokens and NFT gear necessary to start playing the game.  The market has responded to this economy problem by creating “guilds.”

These guilds pool Axies and NFT gear. And they are renting them out to new players who are just getting started in the game. In return, the renters share the revenue they earn while playing the game with the guild.  That dynamic itself is fascinating. And it gets even better…  Many players in Southeast Asia – namely, Vietnam and the Philippines – are now earning enough money in Axie Infinity to make it their primary source of income. That’s right – some people have made it their job to work in the metaverse. 

That’s where they are spending most of their time.  I know that’s hard to believe. But it shows how the right micro-economic framework can lead people to choose the metaverse over real life. This is a view on the future. There are many exciting metaverse projects in the works right now in addition to Axie Infinity. Some of these new metaverses will reach a tremendous scale, and we will get to the point where a lot of people are spending their days inside a metaverse.  

I know that’s a troubling concept in many respects. But the trend is growing at an exponential rate right now, and it can’t be stopped.  Welcome to the world of metaverses…

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