Crypto from a Pokémon Go-like game has nearly doubled in 4 days. Here’s why Axie Infinity and its NFTs are all the rage. – MarketWatch

Play-to-earn NFT platform Axie Infinity’s AXS token has almost doubled in four days, pushing its price to an all-time high of about $155 on Monday. 

The platform on Thursday, Sept. 30 enabled staking, which allows users to lock up their AXS and earn rewards. It also gave out 800,000 AXS, or about $60 million based on AXS’s price then, to its early users. 

AXS is recently trading at $140, up 12% over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin BTCUSD, +1.30% is trading at $49,237, up 0.53% over the past 24 hours. Ether ETHUSD, -0.45% has lost 1.26% over the past 24 hours, trading at $3,430.

Play-to-earn games 

Axie Infinity is a Pokémon Go-like game, where players raise, breed and battle their digital pets called Axies. However, unlike in traditional games where characters are valuable primarily within the game, every Axie is a nonfungible token, or NFT, which refers to noninterchangeable digital assets stored on blockchains. 

Axies, which can be bought and sold at the platform’s marketplace and other secondary markets such as OpenSea, worth at least $150 each.

Players may also earn AXS and another token Small Love Potion (SLP) in the game, while both tokens can be traded at some crypto exchanges such as Uniswap. SLP is recently trading at $0.096, up 32% during the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko. 

There is an entry barrier, though — you’ll need to acquire at least 3 Axies to start playing the game.

Developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis and released in 2018, Axie Infinity is especially popular in places such as the Philippines, where some people play the game to earn a living

Why does staking matter? 

In a proof-of-stake (POS) blockchain, holders of the cryptocurrency could help validate transactions and thus earn a reward.

Staking on Axie Infinity currently has an APR of 187%, according to a page on Axie Infinity. 

Different from bitcoin’s “proof-of-work” system, which requires computational power to verify transactions, the POS system claims to be more environment-friendly.

Ethereum is in the process of transitioning from “proof-of-work ” to “proof-of-stake.”