NFT Pokemon game back in business after losing millions in scam

NFT Pokemon game back in business after losing millions in scam

Fantasy creatures in the game Axie Infinity are launched through the air.

Picture: Axie Infinity

Axie Infinitythe game to earn, decidedly exploitative, crypto Neopetshas reopened its proprietary Ronin blockchain bridge after accidental disclosure by its users to a $600 million hack in March.

The hack was made possible by an exploit in the bridge, which allowed funds to be transferred between the Ethereum and Ronin blockchains, and was the beginning of Axie Infinitybigger problems, as the game later suffered from the same tanking prices as the rest of cryptocurrency in late spring. May saw the arrival of the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) utility token, which is required to purchase and breed the game’s tubby “Axie” creatures, was worth $0.00. That is, if you rounded up.

At the time of writing, SLP is still worth $0.00 if you round to the nearest cent. And Axie Infinity the game sticks to the same premise it first used to draw in (plumping) couple-hundred-thousand-or-so users: Create a Ronin wallet (a must for game to earn crypto games), get three Axie NFTs for around $20make one Axie Infinity account and download the game. After that you can fight your axes as NFT Pokémonplay one of a handful user generated satellite gamesand breed and sell Axies to earn SLP, which are worth no real money, or the more valuable Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), which are valued at a huge value $14.70 at time of writing.

So the only thing that has changed Axie Infinityits efforts to be new-Neopets is its June 28 decision to reopen the once-wobbly Ronin Bridge, which was out of service in the months following the hack. While it was out, users could still add crypto to their Ronin wallets, however the process was less intuitive.

Axie Infinity showed signs of stress even before the huge robbery. Shortly before the developers took down the Ronin bridge, users noticed Axie had become less profitable than it once was

“The way the game is currently is very unrewarding,” one Reddit user replied in a thread discussing about Axie was “worth playing for money”. “With small SLP gains and stressful arena, your enemies give two [critical hits] in a row most of the time, it can be very bad for your mental health.”

By April, grossly underpaid players—often from the Philippineswhere average monthly income is approximately $800 USD—dropped out of the game en masse due to falling returns. AxieThe goal, in part, has seemed to be to confuse people enough to make them believe it—it’s complicated and costly both to start playing the game and to keep playing it. But for its mistreated players, the $600 million hack and the waning faith in crypto revealed that Axie was not the transformative approach to work it presents itself as. Instead, it is an incredibly vulnerable economy that requires the labor of vulnerable people to keep running forward.

Now the developers are trying to rebuild the players’ trust. According to the game Ronin’s newsletterthe renewed bridge has been revised three times – once internally, once with Verichains, and once with blockchain security company CertiK. User funds are now backed 1:1 by Ethereum (ETH) and USD Coin (USDC), and eternity says it has stood by its commitment to recover the 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC lost in the March exploit.

56,000 of this ETH is wrapped Ethereum (wETH) stolen from Axie DAO (decentralized organization) Treasury, which distributes funds to Axie community and AXS holders. Axie Infinity says in its newsletter that it is working “with law enforcement to recover the funds,” and if “the funds are not fully recovered within two years, Axie DAO will vote on the next step for the Treasury.”

Except this, Axie Infinity says that developer Sky Mavis has fully refunded millions of lost coins, and users feel more optimistic about the game, who will introduce land confiscation this week after two years of dubious promises. Gameplay will not change with the Ronin bridge reopening, but now users may be more safely and easily exploited.

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