Blockchain-based play-to-earn project Axie Infinity’s native cryptocurrency AXS experienced a significant rally following the news of Axie’s card-based strategy game debuting on the Apple app store. CoinDesk’s report propelled AXS to surge over 12% from $7.16 to $8.04, making it the top gainer on CoinDesk Indices’ leaderboard. This surge marked AXS’s best single-day percentage gain since January 22. In contrast, the cryptocurrency had faced a decline of over 3% in April, marking its third consecutive monthly decrease, attributed to the token unlock and risk aversion prevalent in the broader market.
Initially, the card-based game, Axie Infinity, will be accessible to Apple store users in Latin America and Asia, including countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The game has already amassed 1.5 million installations across various platforms. Sky Mavis, the creator of this play-to-earn project, has plans to further expand the game’s reach among mobile users by targeting both Google and Apple platforms.
The price rally of AXS was accompanied by a notable increase in the notional futures open interest, representing the dollar value locked in open futures contracts. This surge indicates a significant influx of new funds into the market. Coinglass reported that the notional open interest rose from nearly $40 million to over $75 million in just one day, reaching its highest level since February.
However, the leverage in the market seemed skewed toward the bearish side, as funding rates in the perpetual futures market remained negative. Negative rates imply the dominance of bearish short positions in the market. Investors likely engaged in shorting perpetual futures contracts to safeguard their long positions in the spot market against sudden price drops, reflecting a lack of confidence in the sustainability of the price rally.