Filipino gamers endure long crypto winter
Filipino players’ interest in blockchain gaming, such as the popular Axie Infinity, is expected to hold out despite cryptocurrencies plunging, according to a New York-based blockchain analysis firm.
Ulisse Dell’Orto, Chainalysis managing director for Asia-Pacific and Japan, told the Inquirer there was a “dip in interest,” but play-to-earn (P2E) games would continue to thrive and “represent a substantial portion of overall crypto usage in the region.”
He said the tepid attention given to blockchain gaming as of late was part of the overall slowdown in the crypto market this year.
“While there has been a dip in interest, the dip is a function of the crypto market slowdown this year. This slowdown has affected almost every sector within crypto,” he said, adding “there’s no reason to believe this will cease.”
Filipinos have found an alternative source of income in blockchain gaming, especially at the height of the pandemic lockdowns that left many jobless.
Chainalysis estimates that 25 percent of Filipinos have joined play-to-earn games, adding that the Philippines made up about 40 percent of Axie Infinity’s player base at one point.
“P2E games give users the opportunity to earn in a novel and fun way that traditional gaming and even other areas of crypto do not. For these reasons, it’s likely that interest will be sustained in blockchain gaming in the Philippines,” Dell’Orto added.
He advised P2E game operators to revise their in-game economics—or the resource distribution and expenditure systems, among others, in a gaming platform—as a way to support the value of the digital assets being earned through the game.
“Finding this optimal in-game economy is not an easy feat and will require a fair amount of experimentation before players feel once again confident that they can actually reap sustainable rewards by playing,” he said.
The Philippines ranked second in the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, a huge leap from 15th place in the previous report. Vietnam secured the top spot.
As expected, the Philippines’ ranking was boosted by P2E penetration.
“Cryptocurrency … has become a quick, convenient and cost-effective alternative for people who don’t have access to traditional banking channels or want to avoid high transaction fees,” Dell’Orto said.
The Chainalysis official noted that e-wallets Maya and GCash’s move to offer cryptocurrency trading has also encouraged more retail customers. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ
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