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    KrisVirgo HF-06 |HF
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    People in the Philippines are earning cryptocurrency during the pandemic by playing a video game

     

    KEY POINTS

    Axie Infinity allows players to earn income through nonfungible tokens, or NFTS, and cryptocurrencies.

    Players breed, battle and trade digital pets called Axies.

    A new mini documentary called “Play-to-Earn” follows several Filipino people who play the game.

    Play-To-Earn NFT gaming

    Source: Play-To-Earn

    As the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines, people in Cabanatuan City north of Manila have found a unique way to ease the hardship brought on by lockdowns — playing video games.

     

    The gameplay, however, isn’t just for fun. Axie Infinity, created by SkyMavis, allows players to earn income through nonfungible tokens, or NFTS, and cryptocurrencies by breeding, battling and trading digital pets called Axies.

     

     

    A new mini documentary, released Thursday on YouTube by crypto consulting firm Emfarsis and gaming company Yield Guild Games called “Play-to-Earn,” follows several Filipino people who play the game — a mother, three young entrepreneurs, a recent college graduate, a pedicab driver, an elderly married couple and one of the first people in Cabanatuan City to discover Axie Infinity.

     

    The phenomenon that first began last summer exploded after a Coindesk article published in August significantly boosted the player base, according to the documentary. Nearly 60,000 people are now playing Axie Infinity, Axie’s head of growth Jeffrey Zirlin told CNBC.

     

    While the digital game knows no borders, it has really taken off in the Philippines, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. GDP contracted 9.6% in 2020, the largest annual decline ever recorded since data collection began in 1946, according to IHS Markit. Several cities saw a spike in cases toward the end of March, which resulted in new mandatory lockdowns. The same research found around 26 million people — nearly one quarter of the population — were impacted by those latest lockdowns.

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