Play to Create!
I’m excited to announce that the Cryptopop Art Guild (CPAG) has raised 48 ETH as of this writing. Our original target for this year was 40 ETH, and we’re now well over that amount, after only 15 days of fundraising. With these funds we are aiming to support 120 artist scholars (we already have 55!), and we’re reopening scholarship applications starting today. If you are an unemployed Filipino artist and want to earn Axie Infinity income while also receiving mentorship from some of the best NFTartists in the country, please message us! Send your best work to fb.com/cryptopop. Each potential scholar goes through two rounds of interviews before they are selected, and we try to find a fair balance between socio-economic need and artistic potential.
The guild’s motto is “play-to-create,” and I’m incredibly grateful for the support that folks have shown this new concept. I wanted to thank all the people who contributed funds thus far: Jowee Alviar of TeamManila, AJ Dimarucot, James Deakin, Gabby Dizon, Colin Goltra, Andrew Koger, Chris Kaptein, Christo Georgiev, Ryan Sumo, Marco Palinar, Caroline Dy, Rafa Rodrigo, Jinesh Patel, @TravisForMayor, my dad Luis C. Buenaventura, and Peter Ing. Apart from being a team of all-around awesome folks, these contributors are going to be opening doors and creating amazing new opportunities for our artists. I’m deeply humbled by their support. I’m also very thankful for the hard work put in by our two guild managers, Jhang and Anan. This would have been an impossible task without them, and of course, the work is just beginning!
Speaking of new opportunities, the long-awaited Axie Infinity breeding update has sent some minor shockwaves across the markets. In case you somehow missed it, they’ve increased the SLP cost per breed by a fairly significant amount, while also reducing the AXS requirement from 2 to 1.
Most people don’t really breed more than three times per axie, so we can focus on those costs. (Only about 20% of the marketplace are axies with breed counts of four or more.) Everything is significantly more expensive, and the total SLP cost to breed three times is now 3,000 instead of the previous 1,800. If you’re wondering why they made such a large change, well, it’s basically a reaction to the plummeting SLP price. Remember that SLP was low because there were more people selling SLP (the players) and not enough people buying SLP (the breeders). With this new change, if the breeders want to stay in business, they have to buy about 66% more SLP than they used to, which will cause the SLP price to go up. The SLP markets reacted immediately to the announcement, jumping up from ₱3 yesterday to ₱4.50 this morning.
Will this solve the ecosystem’s problems and get us back on track? In the near term, I think so. It makes sense too: increasing the cost of breeding is the simplest change you can make to increase the value of SLP. But the problem with only adjusting the breeding costs is that it can’t do anything about “player churn,” which is the industry term for players who quit the game. In traditional games, when players churn, they no longer generate any revenue for the company. But in Axie Infinity, when players churn, they have to sell their axies back into the marketplace. (Otherwise, they won’t get their initial capital back.) This increases the number of axies for sale without reducing the global SLP supply, because these axies are just changing hands.
Are we in a “churn” state right now? I think so. Last week, there were 1.98M axie holders, and this week that number has dropped by nearly a quarter of a million to 1.75M. It’s the first drop we’ve seen since … ever. Now before you all start panicking, I should mention that we were at just 50,000 axie holders in May, so 3500% growth in 6 months is a jaw-dropping achievement. On Sept 15th, I predicted that a 3-peso SLP price was the threshold at which we would start losing players, and that’s exactly what happened this week. (Why? Because it implies a monthly player income that’s less than the minimum wage in the Philippines.) For this same reason, I think that we’ll start to see the axie holder numbers come back up as the SLP price heads north of 5 pesos.
Over on the Bitcoin side of the universe, Twitter and Strike announced earlier today that they had teamed up to do “free, instant, global payments” for Twitter users. Ever the hyperbolist, the young Strike CEO Jack Mallers did not mention that it only works within the United States and El Salvador. They also couldn’t get regulatory approval for all the states; New York and Hawaii still don’t allow it. Not exactly a global solution just yet. This is not a technology problem — the Bitcoin Lightning network should work seamlessly no matter where you are in the world — it’s entirely a regulatory one. Last Wednesday I asked whether the BSP and their counterparts in the US were actually anti-innovation. They wrote a law that implicitly prohibits licensed exchanges in the Philippines from engaging with protocols like the Lightning Network. It seems unlikely then that we’ll see the impact of the Twitter/Strike partnership out here.
Today’s featured Cryptopop artist is Fiona Saye. Fiona is from Puerto Princesa, and her work is probably the cutest thing ever. Follow her on Twitter at fionasxye and follow our guild at cryptopopart!
See you all next week, cryptofam! Have a great weekend :)