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A Billion-Dollar Crypto Game Promised Riches and Delivered Ruin

June 10, 2022, 9:00 AM

Over the course of his life, Alejo Lopez de Armentia has played video games for a variety of reasons. There was the thrill of competition, the desire for companionship, and, at base, the need to pass the time. In his 20s, feeling isolated while working for a solar panel company in Florida, he spent his evenings using video games as a way to socialize with his friends back in Argentina, where he grew up.

But 10 months ago, Armentia, who’s 39, discovered a new game, and with it a new reason to play: to earn a living. Compared with the ...