Crypto Coach: How to Earn Money Playing P2E Games


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

A few weeks ago I was looking for a summer project for my kids where they could play a video game and make money. I thought I could find the right project that would allow my boys to earn money playing a game on their iPhones. (They play games for free every day, so why not entice them to play for money?)

So (drum roll)…

Recently, I “aped” in my first play-to-earn (P2E) game and became a liquidity provider for Primate-Ape. I’ll get to how I did it shortly (and how you can, too), but first…

What are play-to-earn (P2E) games?

Play-to-earn games use blockchain technology which allows you to receive payment in cryptocurrency from gameplay. Gamers under the P2E model can earn money by playing the games or performing services in the game world using cryptocurrency. This unique community-driven business model gives the player the ability to collaborate more openly between players and developers to make contributions to the game.

What differentiates crypto gaming from traditional video games is that players can own their in-game assets and turn them into fiat currency, exchange them for other cryptocurrencies, or join a liquidity pool – a crypto- currency contained in a smart contract to be used later to create liquidity for transactions – in addition to NFTs. So, for example, any item in a game that is considered valuable – be it a sword, an amulet, or whatever digital MacGuffin helps you earn points – can be tokenized as an NFT and traded initially. It may cost some money upfront, but you can always see what the rate of return is. (For a deeper dive into how P2E and GameFi games work, check out this primer from Citi.)

In my search for an inexpensive P2E game, I came across Benji Bananas which is a mobile video game that you can download from the App Store or Google Play Store for your iPhone or Android respectively. Benji Bananas is a freemium or free mobile game from Animoca Brands. The game is simple: make Benji jump from one vine to another through the jungle while collecting bananas. With such an easy to play game, you can imagine how super addictive it can be. And it’s super popular: it has over 50 million downloads to date.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

Buy in Benji

Animoca Brands is in the process of converting its free mobile game into a P2E game. Soon, playing Benji Bananas will earn you $Primate coins, which can be exchanged for $Ape or used to enter $Primate – $Ape liquidity pools.

To participate in the P2E aspect of the game (not yet released) and the rewards campaign, you must first purchase a Membership Pass on OpenSea (the eBay of NFTs). To create an OpenSea account, you need a crypto wallet such as a MetaMask or Coinbase Wallet. Go to and select “Create”. Choose an applicable wallet and go through the process before buying, trading and/or selling NFTs. (For detailed instructions on how to create an OpenSea account, visit the OpenSea Help Center.) You can choose to edit and populate your profile or remain anonymous.



If you’ve purchased a pass, the first rewards campaign airdrop takes place every week for four weeks. Airdrop 1 took place the first week of June and Airdrop 2 took place on June 6th. Airdrop 3 took place on June 14th and the last airdrop of week 4 will take place the week of June 20th. The next focus is on the P2E aspect of the game.

In the context of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain-based GameFi industry, an airdrop (as the name suggests) is the mass release of free tokens (coins) by the developers of a new startup, a blockchain project or service to members of the project community, primarily for marketing and awareness purposes. This is an effective strategy for drawing attention to the project, like receiving a free meal card in the mail for the opening of a new restaurant in the neighborhood.

For more information on Benji Bananas airdrops, check out this article on


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

To buy a pass on Opensea, you need to create and set up a MetaMask account – a dynamic wallet service available through a web browser extension or smartphone app. To set up a MetaMask wallet, simply download the software from its official site on the device of your choice. Once downloaded, select “Get Started” to create a portfolio, then create (and confirm) your 12-word seed phrase. After you have securely secured your backup seed phrase, you will have access to your new MetaMask wallet, but before you can buy, send, or trade crypto, you will need to identify your public address (your “home address”) which you You can share with people and platforms, as well as familiarize yourself with MetaMask’s core functions of buying, sending, and trading. Finally, fund your wallet with the chosen amount of ether (the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum) which is used for transaction fees, i.e. “gas” fees. And that’s all!

MetaMask is interoperable with virtually all Ethereum-based platforms and can connect to over 3,700 dApps and Web3 services. And because it’s a “hot” wallet – meaning it’s always connected to the internet – you can move crypto assets around at any time.

Also: Crypto Coach: How to Protect Your Seed Phrase

Once you have created a MetaMask account and purchased your Benji Bananas subscription, you can access Benji Bananas, connect your account, and go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) validation process.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

I went through this process a few weeks ago and was in the first snapshot to get an airdrop of their $Primate token.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

To note: When it comes to taxes, airdrops are considered income, so be sure to take this into account with the IRS. See my column, How to report your crypto transactions to the taxman.



Animoca brands will deposit $18 million Primate in phases and integrate the P2E portion of the game. All you need to do to get started is buy a pass and be in a next instantaneous to start earning rewards. You need to go through their KYC to be eligible for the rewards campaign. The airdrop campaign consists of four snapshots per week. We are currently on the fourth and final airdrop of Season 1 of the rewards campaign.

As I mentioned earlier, P2E games can cost money upfront, which is why it’s important to always see what the rate of return is. For example, I bought a Benji pass for $200, but got back $300 in $Primate coins so far, then added it to the cash pool with Ape coins to earn even silver. The pass was free for me. The nice thing is that I can sell the pass on Opensea when I’m ready.

At the end of the line: Research the pass before purchasing to see how you can get your money back.

A caveat to keep in mind: Cryptocurrency is a very volatile and speculative market, and cryptocurrencies can fluctuate wildly. Only invest what you can afford to lose. Before investing, do your own research and have an exit plan.

And now for fun

Go further. Once you own $Primate, you can become a liquidity provider and stake your Primate-Ape tokens on Sushiswap and earn $Primate and $Sushi rewards for providing liquidity to Primate and Ape.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

In this scenario, I purchased a Benji Bananas pass, which will pay for itself with rewards airdropped in Primate that I receive weekly. Also, I can now earn more $Primate and $Sushi by becoming a liquidity provider. (Check out this Medium article on how to become a liquidity provider.)

Currently, I can receive a 317% annualized return on my investment. This annualized return may change daily. The current rate of return, as of June 16, is 198%.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

Within the first 15 minutes of entering the liquidity pool, I started earning $Primate and $Sushi coins.


Benji Bananas/Animoca Brands

I can reap these rewards whenever I am ready. Transaction fees will apply. The next part of my plan: once the ability to earn $Primate by playing becomes available; I’m going to tell my boys and let them keep 80% of what they own. I’ll take 20% to pay for my gas.

Happy P2E!

The information presented by Crypto Coach and ZDNet is not intended to be individual investment advice and is not tailored to your personal financial situation. It does not constitute investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any particular investment. We encourage you to discuss investment options with your financial advisor before making any investment.

Steven Warren is a liquidity provider for Primate-Ape. He receives Sushi and Primate awards for participant in the Primate/Ape liquidity pool.

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