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What is GameFi? The combination of DeFi and Play to Earn

Being a brand new innovation in the space, GameFi has been widely popular but not anyone has known and understood it thoroughly.
Published Mar 11 2022
Updated May 15 2024
4 min read
what is gamefi

What is GameFi?

GameFi is the combination of Game and Finance. This allows conventional gaming to complement potential financial returns, meaning users can earn by simply playing games. This category is also referred to as Play to earn.

The emergence of GameFi not only innovates the crypto space but also improves the situation of the world in general as it has created thousands of jobs. Instead of going to work, many people can now stay home and play games casually for a living. This is especially popular in Asia countries like the Philippines.

gamefi term
GameFi has helped thousands of people to earn a living

Components of a GameFi project


Items in GameFi are normally represented as NFT (Non-fungible token). This brings various benefits and solves the pinpoint problem of traditional games.

As you may know, the value of ingame assets has long been extremely limited. Such items are either non-transferable or there are too many of them around. Even though you can get or sell those items easily, they bear no uniqueness compared to others.

NFTs fix this problem in GameFi. Each NFT, or ingame item, has its own unique attributes. This includes but is not limited to name, ownership, design... which brings more value to the item itself. Furthermore, they are always tradeable on secondary markets, offering more versatility for the owners.


At the same time, GameFi projects also implement a native token. This is similar to DeFi when every protocol owns a token to its economic system, bringing financial benefits to the business.

Token is an indispensable component of a GameFi project - one cannot be categorized GameFi if it does not have a token. It is so important that various play-to-earn games now need 2 or more tokens to maintain a sustainable business model.

How does GameFi work?

The most imperative factor of a GameFi project is “earn”, which separates a GameFi project from an ordinary game. At the moment, most users come to GameFi to seek financial gains, prior to gameplay or experience.

GameFi enables earning by creating a tokenized economic system. Users get rewards by playing the game, which can be converted to fiat currencies or any other kind.

Primitive systems were relatively simple. However, as GameFi develops, the models become more and more complex for it to become sustainable. Here is an example of how Axie Infinity, the pioneer of GameFi, works.

how does gamefi work
The business model of Axie Infinity

Top GameFi projects

Here is the list of top GameFi projects based on Market Cap, ranked by Coingecko.

Top GameFi projects based on Market Cap

How to invest in GameFi?

There are numerous ways to invest in GameFi. This new space is constantly evolving and we can expect more strategies to kick in really soon. At this moment, here are some ways to invest in GameFi.

Buy & Hold token

This is the easiest way to invest in the GameFi category. Basically, you would do the same thing as with DeFi: find a project with good fundamentals and hold its native token, usually for the long term (more than 6 months). If the protocol grows in value, its representative token will undoubtedly go up in price.

However, if you want to follow this strategy, it is highly recommended to check the tokenomics carefully. Some GameFi tokens are used as ingame rewards, so their value is diluted over time as users take profits along the way. Investing in these tokens may not be profitable.

Play games

Playing the games directly is a more common way to invest in GameFi, especially when you want to involve in GameFi to earn. In this way, simply play the game and earn rewards by playing. Those rewards can be sold and converted into cash easily.

Nevertheless, remember that you are rewarded in the project’s native token. At the early stages of the project, the token can go up in price dramatically since lots of people buy it to participate in the game.

However, when most players have earned more than what they paid, they will take profits by selling those tokens. As the result, the token price can sink significantly. You should pay attention to this detail to avoid FOMO and losing money.


GameFi is innovating more than simply play-to-earn games. There are now more and more gamified models that have successfully applied the “earn” factor to their products. For instance, a project called StepN has risen up recently, allowing users to earn by jogging or running.

Even though it is not categorized as GameFi, it can be understood that anything can now turn into “games” with financial benefits. We can expect more of these kinds to appear in the crypto market in the near future.

Where to buy GameFi tokens?

Most crypto exchanges support buying GameFi tokens, namely FTX, Binance, Gate, Huobi,... if the GameFi token you want to buy is available there, you can go to their website and buy it. Along with those exchanges, Coin98 Exchange is also a great choice, especially for crypto beginners.

Coin98 Exchange is a decentralized exchange (DEX), as well as a Multi-chain liquidity aggregator that offers users a wide variety of DeFi services (swap, stake, lend, borrow...) through intuitive and simple interfaces. You can use Coin98 Exchange to easily find and buy your favorite GameFi token, wherever it is available or supported.


This is everything you need to know about GameFi. If you have any questions about GameFi, don't hesitate to leave a comment below. The Coin98 team will answer your questions as soon as possible.