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From police to virtual gardener: NFT games gain fans in Venezuela

Zacary Egea wakes up upset in the middle of the night. “The plant!” He exclaims before jumping onto the computer and confirming that everything is fine: he is one of many Venezuelans who are adept at NFT video games to make money.

32-year-old Zacary plays Plant Vs. Undead, in which he grows virtual plants that he can sell, after an initial investment that produces a profit if all the instructions of the program are followed.

These video games are based on NFT (‘non-fungible tokens’), digital assets exchangeable for current money on blockchain technology platforms, the same as those used with cryptocurrencies.

He was a policeman for nine years, but he hung up his uniform due to the low salary he earned, in a country that is going through its eighth year in recession and fourth with hyperinflation, and where local currency and savings capacity were shattered.

“What do I want with this? To get together to have a house of my own to have my family,” this man who lives with his mother in an apartment complex in a popular area of ​​Caracas told AFP. “It is a long-term projection.”

With about $ 300 he saved working as a motorcycle taxi driver and a delivery driver for a home delivery app – his current job – he upgraded his computer and started playing games.

Earlier, you opened a digital wallet to process NTFs, in order to exchange your earnings for real money.

His first investment: $ 80 for a sunflower and some digital sprouts, which will eventually allow him to purchase a seed to “plant” a tree, which he can then sell for $ 2,000 when it grows.

In a school notebook he keeps details of the behavior of his operation, with market data like a stock broker.

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