A billion dollar cryptocurrency startup promised riches and led to disaster

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Video games have had an impact on Alejo Lopez de Armentia’s personal and professional life. The game appealed to the player’s sense of adventure, competitiveness, and most importantly, the need to pass the time. During his early twenties, he used video games to keep in touch with friends back home in Argentina while working for a solar panel company in Florida and felt lonely and alone.

Armentia, 39, found a new game and a new motivation to play it about ten months ago: to make a living. Axie Infinity was a breath of fresh air compared to the massively multiplayer games he was used to. Battles between three-man teams of digital monsters are fought on the battlefield by players. Figures like Mr. Potato Head can be customized by swapping different pieces of their body, like a blob. While they wait for their time to use magic, they dance in the “battle” arena. Three team members are wiped out when one member succumbs to the repercussions of defeat. Five minutes is enough to finish a game.

There is no way to stop players from studying techniques, hiding in Axie-themed Discord channels and Reddit forums, and spending money on software that helps them build better teams. He claims he likes the game, but he never intended to play it for pleasure. He has spent about $ 40,000 on him having him since August last year. The desire to make this his full-time career is what he claims to have at the time.

Since it was tied to the cryptocurrency markets, Axie seemed to be able to do it briefly last year. If you are competing in a smaller tournament, you will get Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens instead of Axie Infinity Shards (AIS) (AXS). Since they can be traded as cryptocurrencies because their ownership is registered on a blockchain, the axes are non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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There are several methods by which Axie can earn money. For Armentia, one of the most important goals was reproduction, which resulted in a reduction in in-game activity and an increase in forward-looking planning. New Axies can be created by existing Axies owners by selecting two to act as parents and paying a share in SLP and AXS for each. With this new identity come qualities from both parents.

As new Axie players need Axies to play, the price of Axies continues to rise. Last August, Armentia began to reproduce at a time when the conventional economy seemed to have no relevance. As a result, he promises that “you will be assured of earning 300 percent or 400 percent of your money in just five days.” I thought it was a waste of time.

The “Play-to-Earn” video games were pioneered by Sky Mavis Inc., the company behind Axie. “We believe in a global future where work and pleasure become one,” reads their website’s mission statement. We use the terms “player empowerment” and “economic opportunity” interchangeably. Our revolution is only just beginning. In addition to Andreessen Horowitz and the cryptocurrency-focused startup Paradigm, the Ho Chi Minh City-formed company of a collection of Asian, European and American entrepreneurs received a $ 160 million investment. Axie Infinity, according to Sky Mavis, had 2 million daily users in the same month as its launch.

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