PDAX CEO: I Love What’s Happening in Axie Infinity

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By Shiela Bertillo

Nichel Gaba, CEO of Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), a PH-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, stated in an interview that he loves what is happening with the play-to-earn non fungible token (NFT) game Axie Infinity.

“As an investment expert and also as somebody na nag-ooperate [who operates] an exchange, I love what’s happening with Axie Infinity. The fact that you can actually play a game then you’ll be earning tokens and yung kinikita mo [your earnings] from the games actually are above minimum wage.” he stated.

Gaba also noted how the game is also beneficial to the country and for the people, especially those who are affected by the pandemic.

Moreover, he stated three ways on how someone can earn through the play-to-earn game. 

First, is to make it a business by being a manager. Second, is to be a player yourself because “in that sense, you’re not dependent on market risks.”

Gaba also reiterated that managers and players must be prepared in situations where the value of SLP may not be as high as it was before. 

“The third way that you can earn [in Axie Inifnity] is trading and speculative trading. And syempre, crypto pa rin ‘to [of course, this is still crypto] so very very volatile,” he stated.

He noted that if the investment may be too risky, investors may “start small.”

“Unless you’re very aggressive; it’s all up to your risk appetite [on] how much you are willing to risk,” he added.

When asked for his opinion about Axie Infinity’s registration to the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), he stated that if there is an instrument in the game that can be used as a mode of payment then it should, as our regulations are activity based.

“Our regulations are activity based. So if there’s an instrument there that can be passed  from one person to another and it’s a form of payment. The question there becomes `how is it different from a banking service or a payment service?’” Gaba said.

He also reiterated that these services, banking and payment, are regulated for “precisely the same reason.”

On the other hand, BSP Director at Technology Risk and Innovation Supervision Department Mhel Plabasan who’s also on the interview stated that Axie Infinity is not a ponzi scheme, saying that it is “it’s really just a virtual game.”

“I would just like to clarify, we are not yet requiring Axie Infinity to register with the BSP.” he said.

Plabasan reiterated that what the BSP is currently studying regarding the game is its payment component. 

“Papano kapag napakaraming merchants na sa Pilipinas ang nag-aacept ng SLP (smooth love potion). ‘Yun ‘yung pinag-aaralan namin na magiging implication niya. Pero right now, from the perspective of it being a virtual assets service provider (VASP), hindi because excluded siya sa regulation. And we feel, kaya siya excluded hindi ganoon kataas ‘yung risk niya as compared, let’s say to, other mainstream cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.” he added.

Translation: What if the number of merchants accepting SLP in the Philippines would further increase? It’s implication is what we are looking into right now. But for now, from the perspective of it being VASP, not yet as it is excluded in the regulation. And we feel that it is excluded because its risk is not as high as compared to other mainstream cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum.”

Last month, the BSP as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also stated that Axie Infinity is not required to register to these regulators yet, however they are closely monitoring the game following its growth in popularity in the country. (Read more on:  BSP, SEC: Axie Infinity Aren’t Required to Register Yet)

Regarding the VASP classification of the play-to-earn game the BSP also stated last August that it is not but considering to how players and merchants are using and exchanging the SLP as a form of payment, the central bank is looking to its possible classification as an operator of payment system (OPS). And if it is, Axie Infinity is encouraged by the BSP to register as one. (Read more on: BSP Closely Monitors Local Axie Infinity SLP Merchants System)

This article is published on BitPinas: PDAX CEO: I Love What’s Happening in Axie Infinity

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