Play-to-earn cryptocurrency game Axie Infinity skyrocketed in popularity in 2020, with many of the newly onboarded users residing in the Philippines and Venezuela. The game provided a unique – though ultimately temporary – economic model that allowed users to earn an income while at home in lockdown.

In the time since then, Axie suffered an exploit ultimately attributed to the North Korean Lazarus group and its users dropped off as the game lost its early profitability.CoinDesk columnist Leah Callon-Butler joins “Opinionated” hosts Ben Schiller, Danny Nelson and Anna Baydakova to chart Axie’s recovery and predict what the future of the game might look like. Will the play-to-earn model continue in the years to come, or will it fall off as a short-lived experiment?

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This show is produced and edited by Eleanor Pahl with additional production support and announcements by Michele Musso. Our theme song is by Elision.