This edition we are exploring the beginnings of a revolution in cryptocurrency point-of-sale payments in the Philippines. The community is seeing an expansion and streamlining of the play-to-earn model; removing “conversion to fiat” as an interim step in earning a living wage. People here are not “investing in” or “getting paid in” crypto; they are converting to it.
We also check-in with some of our fantastic community members’ projects that were featured last month, to see how being a scholar has enabled them to continue to support and benefit those around them.
These amazing articles and stories come from interviews and self-submitted pieces from some of our 559 scholars in the Academy. As our ranks grow, we hope to bring you all the exciting developments and updates from this global community.
SLP Being Accepted By Shops, Vendors & Merchants
The demand for Axie Infinity in the Philippines continues to increase as merchants across the country are now accepting SLP as a mode of payment for their products and services. This is a huge step for needs-driven adoption of cryptocurrency by the public. There are also no banks involved; scholars get paid in SLP, and they are immediately able to transfer this to vendors in a feeless transaction between phone-based wallets on the Ronin network (an Ethereum side-chain). Whilst there are technically gas fees, each user is permitted 100 free transactions per day which more than suffices - when was the last time you did more than 100 EFTPOS credit card payments in a day?
ALT+ is paying off his scooter instalments with SLP earned from Axie
“Here in San Carlos everyday the radio is always talking about Axie and the price of SLP because many workers are leaving their jobs as our minimum wage is only 395 PHP a day. SLP is accepted in, I think, about 30% of shops in my city, including street vendors. We just pay instantly with Ronin-Ronin transfers to the vendor's wallets on our phones, without any fees.”
ALT+ | Blackpool Academy Axie Scholar
For reference, our scholars take home the equivalent of 1500-3800 PHP (Philippines Peso) per day in SLP tokens, depending on their skill level, playtime, MMR (competitive ranking) and SLP price. Converting this to fiat via Ethereum mainnet and then to an exchange to swap for PHP is cumbersome, costly in terms of both exchange and gas fees, and remains a complete mystery for some. To streamline the process and remove fees, vendors directly accepting SLP means that upon being paid by BlackPool Academy, scholars are instantly able to spend their earnings.
If you had asked me 3 years ago which cryptocurrency I thought would see widespread adoption by the public for payments of goods and services, SLP on Ronin-Chain from Sky Mavis, a small NFT gaming start-up based in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, would not have been my answer.
The “BlackPool Academy Trike” - Medical Emergency Vehicle
From the last newsletter, you may remember Luz, a champion of the people who donates her SLP earnings to patients unable to afford their dialysis treatment. Here she is with yet another gift to her community: a free-to-use motorbike & sidecar for medical emergencies! It can be used by anyone in the neighbourhood as an ambulance; taking patients to appointments or to hospital as needed.
“Thank you so much and God Bless you always. So happy to be part of the BlackPool Academy, that is why we put your icon on the trike, I'm so thankful I want people to recognize it.”
Luz | BlackPool Academy
Luz’s generosity and community spirit inspire all of us here at the Academy, and all those in her local community.
Gaming Community Feeding Program
Rolando & Angelica Cantero have expanded their feeding program, involving two more scholars as members to keep up with demand. There was also a special appearance by Luz, advertising the services of the medical vehicle, that she informed me is affectionately called “The BlackPool Trike” in the community.
“We gave out multivitamins to the children in addition to Chicken Arroz Caldo Soup. I estimated about 40-50 children came, as well as some adults. The children and the parents were so happy because they now can have at least 3 weeks of vitamins for their children and the children's tummies are also happy because of the yummy Chicken Arroz! We're already planning the next event; our team will give rice and groceries to the families who are in need, in addition to the usual feeding program. We’re so happy that it was a successful event again and that it’s only our 2nd time. Heart-warming to see parents and children are happy. Sharing really is caring!”
Rolando Cantero Jr.
Scholar Fan-Made T-shirts
Many scholars have taken it upon themselves to organise meet-ups and community get-togethers, and decided to have custom BlackPool T-shirts made up. There are many different designs now; all made locally - BlackPool Academy will shortly have a discord channel with links to where they can be purchased. I’m going to have to get some myself!
I would like to end this edition with the first piece of scholar-submitted writing, courtesy of Guest Author Imnotarobot | BlackPool Academy, from Bacolod City, Philippines. He describes the experience discovering Axie Infinity, BlackPool Academy and making friends through playing-to-earn.
Blackpool Scholars Reaching New Heights, New Opportunities and New Connections
The global pandemic's sudden economic blow made people explore new and innovative outlets for survival. Enter Axie Infinity - a quirky yet fun way for people to earn income by playing cute (and sometimes angry) little balls of fury.
Axie Infinity holds one of the biggest discord servers and a mountain of sub-servers dedicated to it where people from all across the globe can look for guilds and apply for a scholarship program. BlackPool Academy being completely legit with an eye-catching income split is where all of us first met.
But before we knew each other, we all had one thing in common: we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Sure, the promise of a brighter future from the world of cryptocurrencies (we had no idea what this is at first and thought it was another clever scam) was the force that drove us in, but it was the instinctive "survival of the fittest" dogma ingrained in us Filipinos in addition to a very challenging year that made us took a leap of faith.
And thank God it wasn't a scam. And it pays well. Very well. In fact, we earn 10x the minimum wage earner gets just by playing 2-3 hours a day. And thank God we throw our trust in BlackPool. Word of this play-to-earn game and BlackPool DAO's authenticity spread quicker than the plague in the city.
New heights were reached. New opportunities was presented and well received. Now, it's time to establish new connections.
After we found out that some, if not most, BlackPool scholars belong to a single city (the city of San Carlos) we quickly organized ourselves to meet up after we received our first pay out. We designed T-shirts worthy of being an official BlackPool team uniform, took it to a nearby coast and took some photos.
We had fun doing all these activities! And most importantly, we had fun sharing our in-game strategies, our genuine love for the game and discussions about loyalty in the Academy that entrusts us with a spot to earn our financial freedom.
And so, for the people who have just heard of the game and want to join in, then look no further than the edge of the universe. BlackPool Academy is the hottest and coolest place to be! It doesn't make sense temperature-wise, but you know what I mean! Go ahead and try it. It might change the repetitive course of your entire existence. Apply now!
The play-to-earn gaming space is becoming a significant part of the lives of the people who play within it. The funds that players earn have become life changing for many, especially those tens of thousands of people who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
Now we are seeing the barriers to spending digital earnings melt away. People in the Philippines are not thinking about how to change their hard-earned tokens into fiat; but rather simply receiving wages in crypto tokens, before subsequently spending it. SLP is already forming the pathway along which other cryptocurrencies could travel into mainstream public utilisation; indeed, some of the vendors encountered also have started accepting AXS and WETH.
If you have any interesting stories that you would like to submit for inclusion in the next community newsletter, an article you’ve written, or you would like to know more about becoming a BlackPool Academy Scholar, head on over to our Discord https://discord.gg/z5HuUWMG5d. See you next month!