With inflation burning most Argentinian paychecks, Argentina has become the number one country in Latin America for cryptocurrency “play-to-earn” games like Axie Infinity, according to Bloomberg News. Brazil is closely behind.
In recent months, Argentina's record inflation has caused a massive interest in play-to-earn games where users can participate in the crypto economy.
Inflation has also soared in Brazil, this month reaching a new high — nearly 11% — not seen for the past seven years. With many gamers finding their paychecks losing substantial value, many are now earning through a category of pay-to-earn games that have a strong cryptocurrency component.
Today, Latin America accounts for a quarter of all Axie Infinity users and represents the game's second-highest region for growth, according to Bloomberg News.
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With these games exploding in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, many Argentines and Brazilians are playing video games on behalf of American and German gamers because they cannot afford the high cost of buying a non-fungible token, or NFT. Many of these NFTs can cost more than $5,000 and users are effectively renting NFTs through "NFT delegations," Bloomberg News reports.
In Argentina, there is significant profit to be made, with gamers paying in cryptocurrency in overseas accounts and avoiding transaction limits and restrictions on how much money they can bring in or out of the country.
“Argentina and Brazil’s trends show the numbers will keep rising,” Decentral Games' Head of Investor Relations Gabriel Mellace told Bloomberg News. “Young people are not only looking for profitability. They’re also looking for fun.”
Last year, U.S. gamers spent $60 billion on video games, double their spending on TV and movie streaming.
Over the past quarter, gaming deals have reached skyrocketing numbers, with GTA's Take-Two announcing plans to buy Zynga for $12.7 billion in January, and Microsoft unveiling its own $70 billion bid to purchase Activision, the creator of Call of Duty, earlier this year.