The Metaverse: Where Crypto, Gaming and Capitalism Collide. Consider the case of Sam Peurifoy to grasp Mark Zuckerberg’s view of “the metaverse.” The 27-year-old Columbia University chemistry PhD left Goldman Sachs. During the pandemic and is now seeking crypto wealth through video games.
He’s assembled a “Guild” of players from Mexico to the Philippines, led by “Captain” Peurifoy. In exchange, he pays to enter Axie Infinity, a game where participants accumulate Smooth Love Potion. A digital currency that can be exchanged for cash.
The metaverse of Zuckerberg’s dreams is a realm where everyone is connected to a virtual reality. Can travel, and make things happen simply by thinking about them. The billionaire admits it’s “a long way off.”
But what Peurifoy and his Guild are doing now on Axie hints at this future. No, it isn’t Steven Spielberg’s dystopian sci-fi adventure based on Ernest Cline’s book. Or even Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash. Which created the phrase “metaverse.” Decentralized finance, or DeFi, rules online. Merging cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, non-fungible tokens and video gaming.
But this world is dangerous and not altruistic. Investors and bankers are divided on how cryptocurrencies. Will end up, but all agree that prices have been extraordinarily volatile. While Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies gain popularity on Wall Street. The greater universe is populated by new and untested meme coins. Some of which are referred to as shit coins.
There’s no guarantee these tokens can be exchanged into cash due to technical issues and price fluctuations. Scamming is a rite of passage in the crypto world. That may be acceptable for wealthy investors. But it leaves market participants, notably those in developing countries, vulnerable.
Axie Infinity Boom
Axie, the leader in the “GameFi” movement, has produced over $2.5 billion in trade volume. Several other competitors are gaining popularity by promising players crypto rewards. VCs and hedge firms are betting billions of people will swipe, crush, shoot, or kill to earn digital tokens.
This Axie isn’t very realistic compared to other games. It features Pokemon-like characters. Who fight and breed in a strategy game. What makes it unique is that, other from winning stars, hearts. Or crushed candies, players obtain something far more valuable: Smooth Love Potion.
The capacity to earn money by playing games has changed many people’s life, especially in the Philippines. Where the pandemic forced many people out of work. When their prices go up.
It’s impossible to know how many people play to win. But all signals point upward. One indicator: the link between games and digital wallets. Where users keep crypto. Globally, almost 51,000 daily active wallets connected to gaming-related contracts. In the blockchain ecosystem in March, according to DappRadar. Three months later. It had risen to 359,284 – a 599% increase.
The metaverse and its possibilities have the potential to upend not only how we work, earn, and spend. But also how we live, plan, and run our lives. In essence, they offer to change capitalism.
Players must first purchase NFTs (the blobby monsters known as Axies). In Axie’s primordial sector of the metaverse. Price: $300 for a minimum of three Axies paid in Ethereum (second largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin). With no guarantee of success, it costs roughly a thousand to started.
As a result, Axie is now the world’s most valuable NFT collection.
Those figures pricked affluent ears. The Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian also invested in Sky Mavis last May. A $300 million fund focusing on play-to-earn and GameFi has formed by BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun. And Andreessen Horowitz just led a $150 million Series B financing round for Sky Mavis.
In GameFi, NFTs aren’t merely digital files to look at. They do something, interact with other NFTs, and grow in value. How?
Imagine earning money by playing Mario Kart, Nintendo’s indestructible pre-internet Super Mario spinoff series. You wouldn’t need to be great at it. Nothing like that. Anyone can be Mario for as long as you like in this mind experiment. You own him, so you may be him.
Because your Mario is an NFT, he can’t copied. You alone own him. Because you own Mario, your go-kart is always better and faster than Luigi’s. Toad’s, and Princess Peach’s. So off you go, earning the kingdom’s digital currency, Mariocoins.