Play-to-earn (P2E) has emerged as an exciting use case of cryptocurrencies where users can earn tokens and NFTs for gameplay and participation. Several projects are driving adoption of the play-to-earn model across gaming, sports and fitness. This article takes a look at the most popular P2E cryptocurrencies seeing widespread usage.
Introduction to Play-to-Earn
Play-to-earn combines fun user gameplay with the ability to earn real economic value in the form of cryptocurrency rewards and NFTs. Players are incentivized to compete in games, contests and challenges that pay out in crypto tokens or rare digital collectibles.
P2E represents a shift away from the traditional model where game developers alone monetize users. It gives actual ownership of in-game assets to players.
Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are an ideal fit for creating player-owned economies. This has fueled the rise of crypto play-to-earn projects.
Emerging Genres and Models in Play-to-Earn
While starting in gaming, play-to-earn is expanding into more sectors:
- Fitness apps rewarding physical activity like walking and running.
- Social media platforms incentivizing content creation and engagement.
- Educational games that pay users to learn and quiz.
- Gamified finance apps that encourage trading and investing.
- Virtual worlds monetizing creation, exploration and socializing.
Leading Play-to-Earn Cryptocurrencies
Here are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies enabling play-to-earn models across gaming, fitness, and other sectors.
Axie Infinity (AXS)
AXS is the governance token of Axie Infinity, one of the first and most successful P2E games. Players earn AXS and SLP tokens by breeding, battling, and trading cute digital pets called Axies.
The Sandbox (SAND)
SAND is used in The Sandbox gaming metaverse to buy virtual land and gaming assets. Players can earn by crafting and monetizing NFT game content.
MANA is the currency used to buy land and goods in the Decentraland 3D virtual world. Users earn by creating games and content for other users.
Enjin Coin (ENJ)
ENJ backs and manages blockchain gaming assets like NFTs. It is used by over 50 games to mint and distribute branded game items. Players earn ENJ by playing and trading NFTs.
Gala Games (GALA)
GALA is the utility token used to purchase NFTs and operate nodes in blockchain games from Gala Games like Town Star and Spider Tanks. Players earn GALA from gameplay.
GMT is earned by walking, jogging, and running with the STEPN app. Users can spend GMT to get NFT sneakers that boost earnings potential.
SPS is earned in Splinterlands, a leading blockchain card battle game. Players can earn tradable cards and token rewards through ranked gameplay and competitions.
Alien Worlds (TLM)
Alien Worlds is a decentralized metaverse where players can earn TLM tokens for mining and staking NFTs, buying land, and competing in leagues.
My Defi Pet (DPET)
DPET is the main token used in My Defi Pet, an NFT pet simulation game on the Binance Smart Chain. Players can earn DPET through breeding, battling and trading pets.
REVV Racing (REVV)
REVV token powers in-game car customizations, upgrades and purchases in REVV Racing, a NFT-based motorsport game. Players earn REVV by participating in virtual races.
ETERNAL token is earned in Cryptomines by strategically exploring mines and collecting rare NFTs. Players can level up and find valuable token rewards.
ILV is the native token that will be used for staking, governance and rewarding players in the upcoming Illuvium open-world RPG adventure game.
PGX lets users participate in fantasy horse races in the Pegaxy game universe. Players can earn PGX tokens through breeding and racing of NFT horses.
Plant vs Undead (PVU)
Plant vs Undead is a tower defense style game where players earn PVU tokens and NFTs for strategic gameplay and contributions to the ecosystem.
Factors Driving Adoption of Play-to-Earn Models
Several factors are contributing to the rising popularity of play-to-earn crypto projects:
- Ability for players to truly own in-game assets as NFTs instead of centralized games holding monopoly.
- Transferability of assets allows trading on open markets to unlock value.
- Players in developing nations can supplement income through skilled gameplay.
- Transparent rarity and supply models that reward early adopters.
- Social mechanics encourage collaborating with other players.
- Crypto tokens and NFTs enable new gameplay and asset classes.
Play-to-earn mechanics are attracting millions of users to crypto games and fitness apps. P2E crypto tokens provide unique value by incentivizing participation and giving players actual ownership over assets. As the technology and creativity matures in the P2E genre, users can look forward to earning meaningful rewards just by playing games and participating in activities they love.
If designed thoughtfully, play-to-earn crypto models can have very positive impacts by making participation rewarding and promoting healthy competition and creativity. The space is still nascent and best practices will evolve over time to enhance sustainability.