The non-fungible token (NFT) market has experienced a strong expansion, one aspect of which is video games, which promise to reward users with digital assets that can be exchanged for traditional currencies, which has caught the attention of players including Brazil.
NFTs are property ownership of digital goods that can be traded for monetary value and can represent everything from cartoon monkeys to clothes worn by avatars in virtual worlds, a business that has moved billions of dollars around the world.
The market has spawned business models such as the mining company Orbe888, whose main activity is to manage NFT-based video game accounts that players associated with the company can access. The startup also monitors trends in the genre, analyzing which games are the most worthwhile for users to play.
Since NFT video games usually require an upfront investment from users, “Orbe888 takes this risk, and players associated with the company earn a percentage of the revenue during the game,” said Orbe888 CEO Juan Alcasar.
The company, which was founded last year in the inland city of Conceição do Para, has moved to Belo Horizonte for more stable infrastructure after heavy rains hit the state.
The company’s projects are still ongoing, including hiring professional players to represent it in several of the biggest crypto games launched under a “play to make money” model.
Tokens purchased through a company account remain your property. The executive explained that as long as the players are in charge and their contracts remain active, players can earn 60% of the profits from NFTs they mine in games for which the company has an account.
Bruno Leite, 19, plays “Bombcrypto” and “Luna Rush” for Orbe888 in Vitória (ES). The former is similar to the Bomberman video game where players need to blow up chests to mine the BCOIN cryptocurrency. He claims that when BCOIN peaked, he received 2,500 reais ($485.55). In Luna Rush, he said he received 3,000 reais ($582.66), the pinnacle of LUS, the game’s native cryptocurrency.
However, the amount of withdrawals accumulated in each account varies according to the rules of each game and the blockchain wallet used. “With Bombcrypto, for example, you can only withdraw when you accumulate 40 BCOINS,” Leite explained.
Also known as “altcoins,” NFT-based digital video game currencies are more volatile than traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which have a larger user base.
For example, BCOIN was trading at 54 cents on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap. But in late November, it peaked at $8.46. According to the platform, the currency has lost 24 percent in the past 24 hours, down from its initial price of $1.7 when it began trading in January last year.
In addition to Bombcrypto and Luna Rush, there are many games available to players on the market, including the most popular of them, Axie Infinity.
“If you take the outer countries as an example, especially in the Philippines, some people will leave their jobs and make a living with Axie Infinity because it’s more lucrative than people who work in the market, such as in cafeterias,” the executive said. The new business Bruno Milanello said was Mercado Bitcoin, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil.
“These coins are sensitive to price fluctuations due to their concentration in several places. For example, even in the case of the more popular Axie Infinity, it is much smaller than Bitcoin,” Milanello said.
Axie is trading at $50.40 this Friday. At its peak last June, it hit $160.4 with a market cap of $9.8 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.
But the excitement surrounding the market comes with risks, according to digital finance experts.
“When new players come in, there are people who buy, but producers may disappear and disappear with their crypto assets,” said Isac Costa, professor of law, technology and finance at Ibmec/SP.
The scam known as “carpet pulling” has been applied to projects where Orbe88 has an account and occurs when developers abandon projects and run away with investors’ money.
“It is important that our future players properly target the NFT gaming market, as this is a high-risk area that requires high-value investments, and therefore requires great care,” the company said in a statement.
But aside from investing, players are also interested in better spending their entertainment time. João Barreiros, a 45-year-old subway worker, is playing MIR4, a blockchain-based multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).
“I’ve always loved online gaming, so why not try to spend the money I’ll spend on a game that won’t give me anything in return?”, said Barreiros, who is not affiliated with Orbe888. There are potential capital gains,” he added.
Barreiros said he used two accounts on MIR4, each worth about 3,000 reais. He has yet to take his money out of the game, preferring to reinvest his earnings as the cryptocurrency market recovers from recent lows and investors flee risk assets that have hit bitcoin and other cryptocurrency markets.
“We are living in the first generation, the prehistoric period of the relationship between video games and NFTs, because with the concept of the metaverse, game makers are still analyzing how they will position themselves in the market,” Costa said.