Jeff Zirlin | Axie Infinity | 2020 Year in Review

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December 29, 2020 — Every person you ask will say the same thing: 2020 is unlike any other year. 

The cryptocurrency industry felt the full brunt of the pandemic, as evidenced by the March 2020 crash. Nine months, one Bitcoin halving and a couple of institutions later, the industry sees a resurgence in interest brought about by Bitcoin hitting and breaking the psychological all-time high at $20,000 and reaching a new one.

What is the 2020 Year in Review?

BitPinas sought the opinion of key crypto and blockchain leaders/influencers in the Philippines and abroad on what they think about 2020  in general and what they look forward to in 2019.

Jeff Zirlin is the growth lead at Axie Infinity, the flagship product of Sky Mavis. Axie Infinity’s growth particularly in the Philippines is one of blockchain’s most important stories of 2020. It began when a story on Coindesk revealed that the game’s “play-to-earn” mechanic has allowed some Filipino families to weather the pandemic. At some point, earning through playing Axie Infinity can be additional income.

Since those stories have been published, Axie Infinity continues to get updated with new gameplay mechanics, the launch of a governance token, and most recently a public testnet of its new sidechain Ronin.

What does your organization do and what is your role in it?

Jeff: Sky Mavis uses blockchain and incentive design to build games where you can live, work, and play.

Our flagship product, Axie Infinity, is the #1 game on Ethereum by daily and monthly active users.

As part of our journey, we build the tech stack that powers blockchain games and turns them into complex digital nations. We believe in a future where players are citizens and owners of the games they play.

At Sky Mavis, I’ve spearheaded the growth of Axie Infinity through messaging, community empowerment, and incentive design.

On Axie Infinity’s impressive 2020 growth:

The highlight of my year was the explosive growth we saw within the Axie ecosystem.

Axie holders jumped 743% from 3,284 to 27,716. It was a joy to watch this go exponential with the rise of play to earn and positive media attention around Axie.

Monthly active on-chain users, skyrocketed 3063% from 594 to 18,790. This also demonstrates that the percentage of active Axie holders improved dramatically.

The number of weekly active Alpha testers rose 4,340% from 523 to 23,224. We know that this is being significantly held back by the lack of a free to try option, so this growth foreshadows massive potential.

Yearly marketplace volume shot up 608% from 2,944 ETH to 20,850 ETH.

On the effects of “Play-to-Earn” in the context of the pandemic:

The number is derived after dividing the minimum basic salary per day (8 working hours) by two (4 working hours) (Source)

I may be biased but I think the rise of play to earn gaming through Axle Infinity provided a concrete benefit to the Philippines and offers a framework for adoption moving forward.

The pandemic has accelerated a shift in the nature of work. Many physical jobs have vanished. Digital work and contributions to blossoming blockchain ecosystems is becoming a new source of income and we saw this with the rise of play to earn.

Predictions for 2021:

2021 will be led by the application layer. We will see millions of new users join the ecosystem and applications that have had slow and steady growth will begin to reach critical mass and go viral.

I’m looking forward to the adoption of layer 2 and sidechain technology by both DeFi and NFT applications.

We’re most excited about a flurry of releases from an upgraded battle system, land gameplay, AXS staking, and the rollout of Ronin, our sidechain for Axie Infinity.

Follow Jeff on Twitter. Check out Axie Infinity on Twitter and Discord.

This article is published on BitPinas: Jeff Zirlin | Axie Infinity | 2020 Year in Review

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