Welcome to my Tokenomics – Splinterlands versus Axie Infinity post!
Axie Infinity has a huge cryptocurrency marketcap and so I wanted to compare the tokenonmics of the two to see if we can try and predict the future and adjust our plans accordingly.
First up… I do have a Splinterlands account but I don’t have a Axie Infinity account. I honestly missed the boat with Axie initially but I’m curious to see if it’s too late to jump in.
Personally I don’t think marketcap is a good measurement.
Marketcap is purely the price of a token and the maximum supply of that token… but it doesn’t take into account how much of the supply is actually liquid. If a token has a supply 1,000,000 but 900,000 is locked up and will never be used ever then the price is only relevant to the remaining 100,000… not the full million.
That said… let’s compare:
So the Marketcap for the Axie Infinity token is $3.5 Billion.
The Marketcap for the rewards for playing Axie are $652 Million.
You need SLP to mint the actual Axie Infinity characters to play with, and you are rewarded with AXS:
So you win AXS tokens by playing the game… and you can either sell AXS or you can stake it and earn further AXS tokens. You can also vote on decisions with your AXS.
It’s hard to tell, but I don’t think the Community Treasury is in play yet. So as far as I know voting with your staked AXS tokens doesn’t exist yet.
You have to buy at least 3 Axies before you can start playing.
Once you have 3 you can start battling with them, and breeding them to sell for more AXS. They all have different attributes which could help you win battles.
It’s not easy to work out Splinterlands Marketcap… is it the cards that the players collectively own, or the governance token that you don’t need to play or the reward token?
In regards to governance tokens Splinterlands has a much lower Marketcap:
$61 Million as opposed to Axie’s $3.5 Billion. However, you don’t need SPS to purchase cards. You actually don’t need any crypto at all. You can play for free… however to earn rewards you need to purchase a Summoner’s Spellbook which costs $10USD that you can buy using PayPal or a range of other payment processors.
This direct comparison of governance tokens has Splinterlands at only 1.7% of Axie’s marketcap. Again though, you don’t need SPS to play… it’s purely a governance token that will let you vote on community decisions. Some tournaments require a minimum of SPS staked (and you can win SPS if you do well). Occasionally it’s used to purchase special things like Promo cards or SPS validator licenses… but on the whole you can enjoy the game perfectly well without any SPS.
When you purchase the Summoner’s Spellbook you are given a collection of cards to play with, and when you win you earn rewards. Initially you win credits which you can purchase cards with that makes your collection more powerful to help you rise up the ranks. As you get into higher and tougher leagues you start to win reward cards, reward packs and DEC (Dark Energy Crystals).
DEC can be used to purchase more cards, potions or sold onto the market… this is where the #play2earn comes in.
The Marketcap for DEC is $3.8 Million. Compared to the significantly bigger Marketcap for Splinterlands cards at $153,962,456.
The Axie Infinity Marketcap is absolutely massive… but there is a problem…
The daily players of Axie Infinity have dropped off significantly and Splinterlands has 17 times more active users…
Axie Infinity is getting ready to introduce Version 3 of their game which improved their graphics… but this isn’t want the players wanted. The players want to use their expensive Land that they bought a long time ago and ways to burn SLP. Recently the team announced that more Land would be for sale at the time that Land is finally released… which has upset a lot of the existing players. Their land isn’t quite as scarce as it was now. Here is a comment from the Axie Infinity Reddit of why Axie is struggling now…
Version 3 (Origins) may be released and a bunch of players jump back in… but the current players are not optimistic about this at all.
Tokenomics are really hard… you really want people to be excited to play and earn in a game… but you also don’t want everyone cashing out their earnings all the time because this floods the market, drops the price which causes panic and everyone tries to sell, causing it to drop further.
What I like about Splinterlands DEC is that it has a loose peg… 1000 DEC to $1 USD.
Every day a million DEC is minted to reward players…. however if the price of DEC has risen… like right now 1000 DEC is worth $1.64 USD and so instead of a million DEC getting printed today, 1.64 million will get printed today and distributed as winnings. As more DEC enters the market, prices will come down towards the 1000DEC/$1USD peg. If the price of 1000 DEC drops below $1 then less than a million DEC will get printed until the price rises.
This means that the #play2earn rewards of Splinterlands is always adjusting to suit the number of winning games per day.
Splinterlands also has a number of sinks/burn mechanisms. Cards can be burnt for DEC. SPS and Vouchers get burned (80% get burned, 20% go to the Community Fun) when Validator Licenses are purchased. DEC has been burnt in the past with specific Card Pack purchases (DICE edition primarily).
The ability to have tokens and assets burned is an important part of tokenomics… because otherwise the assets will continuously drop in price as more and more tokens/assets get dumped on the market.
The Splinterlands team have a really good understanding of tokenomics. A new mini-edition that they are planning to release called Riftwatchers will only be purchasable with the SPS token.
The Splinterlands team currently anticipates that a total of 3M Riftwatchers booster packs will be available for sale, at a price of $5 USD per pack (payable only in SPS) with bonus packs available for purchases of 100+, 500+, and 2000+ packs in a single transaction. This means that roughly $12M (after accounting for bonus packs) of income will be coming into the SPS foundation over the course of the edition, and all via the SPS token.[Source]
This means though… that all the work that the Splinterlands team puts into Riftwatchers… designing the cards, creating the artwork, gameplay balance, lore, marketing, etc… is all for free.
The Splinterlands team won’t get any money from the SPS foundation (unless the SPS foundation chooses to pay the team for additional work I guess). The SPS in the SPS foundation could be completely burnt, or used to pay for marketing, or really anything that the community votes on.
The SPS that will go into the SPS foundation (same with the 20% of Validator Node Licenses) is not burnt. It could be burnt if the community decides, but it could also be sold for $USD to pay for marketing or whatever… which could flood the market with SPS. That said, I’m sure the team and community is aware of the risks and benefits of these sorts of actions.
Currently DEC is burned through the Guild Contributions…
There are 5 buildings to be upgraded by Guilds… and 4 of them take DEC donations which all get burnt. The higher the levels of the buildings the more benefits all guild members get; access to items, discounts on purchases, specifics of the guild, etc.
Other mini-editions will be released in the future that could burn DEC or SPS if either token starts to flood the market. This is something that the Axie Infinity Sky Maven team just hasn’t done at all…. and is part of the reason players have been leaving the game in waves while Splinterlands has been steading increasing its activity.
Could Axie Infinity players move to Splinterlands?
Of course it’s possible… but a big problem with the scholarships of Axie Infinity was all the people that treated playing the game like a job. Playing the game doesn’t necessarily create any value to society… it’s not creating anything, and the game isn’t more fun than other free to play games.
Splinterlands is super fun to play… and I really enjoy it. It’s not more fun than other games of course, but the thrill of winning a rare reward card, beating one of my friends or pulling off a bold strategy IS actually as fun as other games. It is also creating a community that people enjoy being a part of. People are also rewarded to writing about the game, playing in guilds, creating art, making videos, etc through the Splintertalks.io site.
Community is obviously something that is lacking and hard to come by in modern society… and lots of people choose which games to play based on the community… this is why so many people rush to play the latest Call of Duty or whatever…. because that’s where all the people are.
Thanks for reading my thoughts on the Tokenomics – Splinterlands versus Axie Infinity. I’m fascinated with this subject, as you can see I mentioned back in my Not Financial Advice post:
Thanks so much!
Please note : The above post may contain affiliate links.
Below are some product referral links that I love and will benefit us both if you’re interested.
Splinterlands – A super fun blockchain card game that I play almost every day.
Coil – A $5 USD monthly subscription fee provides you access to a ton of content and sites in a way that fairly rewards the creators of that content.
Exxp – The WordPress App to link your blog to the Hive blockchain.
NomadTask – Earn for completing online tasks like following accounts or completing reviews.
MINT Club – Create your own Smart Media Tokens with no coding required.
GALA Games – Gala is creating a whole platform of blockchain games. Definitely excited about Mirandus, Townstar and SpiderTanks.