FTX has partnered with Yield Guild Games to help players in developing countries earn a living by battling monsters.
In recent months, the Ethereum-based video game Axie Infinity has risen to become the most popular cryptocurrency game available, and its play-to-earn model is giving some players—particularly those from developing countries—a chance to make a living simply by battling monsters with NFT characters.
As a result, cryptocurrency exchange FTX will assist in increasing the number of players who are doing just that. As of today, FTX announced that it will provide funding to 137 new Axie Infinity “scholars” through a partnership with Yield Guild Games, which already has approximately 4,600 such players enrolled in its scholarship program.
The agreement with FTX provides funding for the development of new Axie monsters in the game for scholars, with each Axie represented by a unique NFT.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “Netflix Token,” it refers to a type of blockchain-based token that can be used to demonstrate proof of ownership of a digital item such as an image, a music file, or, in this case, a video game item.
The Axie Infinity Sponsor-a-Scholar accounts of those players will be named after FTX for the rest of their lives. The players who are sponsored by FTX are from a variety of countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Latin America, and Brazil.
Yield Guild Games raised $4 million in Series A funding in June to support the expansion of its play-to-earn business model. Last week, the company held a $12.5 million token sale that sold out in 31 seconds, making it the fastest token sale in history.
During the last couple of months, Axie Infinity has experienced tremendous growth, generating more than $900 million in NFT transaction volume in just the last 30 days alone.
Additionally, the game’s native AXS governance token has recently reached new all-time highs, and is currently trading at nearly $45 per token, representing an increase of more than 86,000 percent since the beginning of January. According to the game’s developer, Sky Mavis, the game has more than 900,000 daily active users who are actively playing it.
A fascinating wrinkle that has emerged in the context of the NFT-driven crypto game is the concept of scholarship. It is essentially a profit-sharing arrangement between the original owners and the scholars, who are loaned Axie monster NFTs.
Small Love Potion (SLP) tokens are earned by the players during battle, and these tokens can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies later on. Most of the income goes to the scholar, with smaller shares going to the owner and a manager who is in charge of overseeing the students.
There is a high price to pay to play Axie Infinity: three Axie monsters are required to complete the game, and they typically cost between $200 and $300 each on the game’s official marketplace.
Select any tweet from the official account of Axie Infinity, or from its creators and other well-known community members, and you’ll be presented with an overwhelming number of people eager to participate in a scholarship program. One of the most well-known programs is Yield Guild Games; however, there are many others to choose from.
“The expectation is that the new player, or scholar as they are known, will earn enough from playing the game to be able to ‘graduate’ from the program and eventually buy their own NFTs,” Yield Guild Games co-founder Gabby Dizon explained to Decrypt.
“This is having a real economic impact on real people’s lives, and FTX gets the added advantage of gaining branding exposure to these new crypto users, who will always remember who gave them their start.”
37M SLP 🥳
Our 10% share is reinvested back towards breeding new Axies! https://t.co/j4T2c2nQpE— Yield Guild Games (@YieldGuild) August 4, 2021
The Yield Guild Games website claims that its scholars have collectively earned more than 37 million SLP to date, which is equal to more than $8.1 million at the current exchange rate.
The company recently collaborated on the production of a documentary short titled Play-to-Earn, which explored the impact that the Axie Infinity scholarship is having on players in the Philippines. The short film, according to FTX, had an impact on the company’s decision to sponsor additional players through Yield Guild Games.
“We were inspired to see how NFT games were providing opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty-stricken situations,” an FTX representative told Decrypt.
“But the high cost of NFTs creates a very real barrier for the people who would benefit from these play-to-earn games most. YGG is solving that problem by loaning NFTs to new players at no upfront cost, so we wanted to get behind their mission and help scale their impact more quickly.”
“Play-to-earn is a new category in gaming, which will likely be the biggest disruptor to the casual gaming market over the coming years, and with it, we believe it’s going to onboard millions of new users to crypto,” the FTX representative added.
“We’ve got a big focus on sponsoring organizations that represent these growing crypto communities, and we know that prospective users will be paying a lot of attention to organizations like YGG that can help them get in.”