As the economy eats up salaries, Argentines are flocking to crypto games
Argentina has risen to the top of Latin America for “play-to-earn” crypto games, as a ten-month high in inflation erodes the value of local wages.
With 9,400 visits to Decentral Games, the metaverse company with the most players in the world, this year. South America’s second-largest economy has leaped in the rankings and is now fifth in the world when it comes to playing crypto games for money, up from only a few hundred last year. Brazil has become the platform’s seventh most popular location for these games.
In Latin America, both countries are dealing with double-digit inflation, trailing only Venezuela. In Argentina, prices are increasing at more than 50% per year, but incomes have remained below inflation for the past four years. Inflation in Brazil has more than doubled in the last year, reaching more than 10% annually.
“The patterns in Argentina and Brazil show that the numbers will continue to rise,” Gabriel Mellace, Decentral Crypto Games’ head of investor relations, said. “Young people aren’t just interested in making money. They want to have a good time.”
Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela have the most Axie Infinity users in Latin America. Players earn tokens by winning battles attributed to igniting a crypto game craze on this platform. According to Mauricio Ramos, Axie’s CEO of Latin America, Latin Americans frequently participate through a form of account. They play on behalf of Americans because they cannot afford to register their accounts.
Crypto games’ popularity is increasing.
Despite rising inflation, Argentina and Brazil are climbing in the play-to-earn rankings. Users typically buy “NFT delegations,” which are NFT rentals, because several gaming platforms, such as Decentral Games, Axie Infinity, and Sandbox, require users to have an NFT to play. For example, to play Decentral Games, users need an NFT worth $5,200, which is beyond of reach for Argentines and Brazilians, according to Mellace. Instead, they represent the interests of Americans and Germans.
Find out what Decentraland has in store for the year in the 2022 Manifesto. Tl;dr: desktop client, social and voice chat improvements, linked #NFTs as wearables, tokenized emotes, smart wearables, mobile app prototype and, oh yes, a #VR client! https://t.co/XmcWMKRwJA pic.twitter.com/ZLYR200bq3
— Decentraland (@decentraland) February 1, 2022
Franco Villaflor, a 28-year-old DJ, has made as much as $1,500 a month playing poker in the metaverse. That’s after the owner of the NFT received 40% of the earnings. He played on behalf of an American man for three hours a day, which is equivalent to what he makes as a DJ.
Play-to-win crypto games aren’t a new phenomenon in emerging nations. According to Yat Siu, founder of Animoca Brands, which owns Sandbox, Axie Infinity is increasing in Asia. Despite this, Latin America currently accounts for 25% of global users and is the second-fastest-growing region, according to him.
There are also other benefits of making money through these games for Argentines. Crypto assets held in foreign accounts are the money they receive as a prize, allowing them to avoid capital controls and limit the amount of money in the country.
Javier Espeche makes six times as much money as a pet furniture maker by playing poker three hours a day in the metaverse on behalf of an American client.
“My mum doesn’t understand how I can waste my time playing games instead of doing anything productive,” said Espeche, 34. “However, if I can earn more like this, what’s the use of working hard?”