NFTs have risen radically in popularity over the past couple of years, but especially during the pandemic. Their volume surged to a whopping $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021. While they’re supposed to help establish a unique identity, many view them as a genuine investment that’ll continue to pay them handsomely in the future.

Developed by Sky Mavis, a Vietnamese gaming studio, Axie Infinity isn’t a new game. It was launched three years ago.

Axie is a Pokemon-like game that has a virtual economy of its own via in-game tokens — Smooth Love Potion (SLP) and Axie Infinity Shard (AXS). Just like all in-game currencies, these can be used to buy land, farm, or breed Axies. American billionaire of Shark Tank fame, Mark Cuban, is one of the many investors backing the blockchain gaming company.

To get started, players need to buy or borrow at least three Axies. Axies are monsters that can be used to battle other players or teams, much like Pokemons.

Players can level up their Axies through the Adventure Mode, where they climb a ladder and go through different levels. Or they can choose the Arena Mode, where players battle with different users on the platform with their Axies.

As with other cryptocurrencies, the prices of Axies are very volatile and fluctuate due to multiple factors. The value of an Axie depends on its capabilities such as body parts, stats, and abilities.

An expensive or potent Axie at the beginning of the game helps in the long run since it allows the player to establish supremacy sooner. These Axies can be bought via crypto exchanges such as Binance, Huobi, and Kraken.

The most costly Axie ever, a triple mystic called Angel, sold for 300 Ether (ETH) in late 2020. The transaction was worth $130,000 back then.

Players can also start out for free by borrowing Axies from lenders, technically called ‘managers’ in the game. While these managers are willing to lend out their Axies, they are also entitled to take a cut from the player’s earnings. This creates a passive source of revenue for them.

The in-game token, AXS, is used to give investors a vote in the governance of the game’s ecosystem, while SLP is used for breeding new Axies.

However, unlike most games, the in-game cash can be converted into other cryptocurrencies, making them valuable in the outside world for transactions.

It’s a unique play-to-earn model that rests entirely on the Ethereum blockchain, and many have leveraged it to generate consistent income. In July, the game has generated nearly $780 million in sales across 1.4 million transactions. If that wasn’t enough, the developer announced on Twitter that they had reached 1 million daily active users (DAUs) on August 6.

Although, experts warn that the game isn’t inherently designed as an investment tool. The recent popularity of the game has surged the value of in-game tokens and collectables. It’s viral in some markets such as the Philippines and Vietnam, and top players have reportedly raked in SLP 1,500 ($435) per day from their Axies.

According to