Blockchain-powered game Axie Infinity’s governance token AXS once again surged to an all-time high in the market today after the team behind the game announced the development of a new decentralized exchange (DEX) last Friday. The latest news also came after the protocol last week made an airdrop to early users and introduced staking rewards for AXS holders.
At 12:38 UTC, AXS, ranked 21st by market capitalization, traded at USD 150.85, up a whopping 38% in a day and 137% in a week.
The latest news about the upcoming Axie Infinity DEX was shared by Jeff Zirlin, co-founder & growth lead at Sky Mavis, the company that developed Axie Infinity, on the podcast The Scoop on Friday.
In the interview, Zirlin explained that the purpose of the DEX is to facilitate trading of tokens used within the game economy, including the governance token AXS and the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) token, which is earned by playing the game. The development thus represents a first step towards bridging the worlds of play-to-earn blockchain games and decentralized finance (DeFi).
According to Zirlin, the DEX will be built on Ronin, an Ethereum (ETH) side-chain purpose-built for Axie Infinity, making it easy for users to trade and spend tokens without using a bridge.
Aside from the DEX development, excitement about the price of the AXS token also took off this weekend after the team late last week announced that it had distributed AXS 800,000 as an airdrop to early adopters.
The airdrop, worth some USD 60m at the time and almost USD 120m today, was sent to all users who played Axie Infinity before October 26, 2020, the announcement said, while further explaining that the number of tokens received by each player depended on the activity level of the user.
Moreover, the rise in the token price today and over the weekend also follows the introduction of staking rewards on the protocol last week.
At the time of writing, Axie Infinity’s staking dashboard showed that a total of 12.5m AXS tokens had been staked, worth some USD 1.94bn at current prices, and earning an estimated annual percentage rate (APR) of 187%.
The Axie Infinity team previously said that the initial staking rewards would be taken from a pool of AXS tokens specifically set aside for the purpose, and that AXS 2m would be distributed during the first month.
The monthly distribution equals to AXS 64,516 per day, which at current prices is worth just over USD 9.67m.
The massive growth both for the protocol itself as well as in the price of the AXS token has been pointed out by several high-profile figures in the crypto space as of late. Among them was Su Zhu of Three Arrows Capital, who on Twitter this weekend called it “the best seed investment ever” for the DeFi-focused fund DeFiance Capital.
Similarly, Messari researcher Ryan Watkins also pointed out the strong growth of the protocol on Sunday, when he said that the game’s revenues have grown by 48 times quarter-over-quarter:
But although the revenue growth has definitely been strong over the quarter as a whole, there are signs that revenues are slowing for the protocol.
Based on data from Token Terminal, the game’s daily revenues reached a peak on August 6 of USD 17.5m, and have since fallen back to about USD 5.3m as of this past Sunday. The graph showing the revenues further reveals that the fall has been pretty consistent.
However, the AXS token has continued its meteoric rise even despite the weakening revenue streams for the game.