The Future of Hive: Splinterlands — and the Importance of OUTER WORLD Use Cases!
Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere, I imagine you've heard about the recent explosive success of Splinterlands. Originally conceived as "SteemMonsters," some three years ago, Spliterlands is — in the broadest interpretation — an all-digital blockchain-based multiplayer game in the tradition of venerable "Magic The Gathering" ("MTG" for short).
When it first appeared, I remember being really excited because here was finally a use case that was clearly reaching out well beyond the somewhat isolated niche of blockchainiacs and crypto enthusiasts.
SteemMonsters broke a number of "molds" being used up to that point, not least of which was the fact that — indirect as it might have been — it was the only way to get onboard with
Steem Hive using a debit card or PayPal.
"Normal" people didn't have to jump through a bunch of techy loops to get started!
Potential on a HUGE Scale!
At the time the very first version of "SteemMonsters" arrived, I was the owner/operator of a small brick-and-mortar art gallery and gift store, here in our local town.
One of our niches was "Fantasy and Surreal" art, and in the course of running the gallery, I got to know a number of both customers and artists who were deeply involved in the original MTG trading card game.
If you're not familiar with Magic The Gathering, the very short version is that it was released in 1993 and has become one of the most celebrated games in history. It was the first trading card game, and by today has in excess of thirty five MILLION players, with an estimated twenty five BILLION or more collectible game play cards printed.
Keep in mind that the game started entirely in physical space, and since migrated to online versions, primarily "MTG Arena" and "MTG Online."
28 Years and Counting!
Over the past 28 years, some 20,000 unique MTG cards have been issued, and the cards have become highly collectible. One of the MTG artists I got to know quite well — who created a number of very early cards — routinely would see hand signed versions of his designs sell for $2,000 and up, each.
In January 2021, the highest price paid to date for an MTG card reached US $511,000 in a sale on eBay.
The reason I offer this MTG background information is just to show the huge scale of this particular gaming niche which Splinterlands is plugging into.
Meanwhile — even though the idea of NFTs existed — collectible art card venue NeonMob had already thoroughly established the idea of uniquely identified and limited edition virtual trading cards by 2015. Not many people talk about NeonMob's role in setting precedents because they are not blockchain based.
The "External" Use Case
Part of what remains so exciting about Splinterlands now is the market the game reaches, and the implications for Hive.
Let's be perfectly honest here... it's one thing to make an amazing dApp that's aimed at users who are either (A) already inside the Hive ecosystem or (B) already inside and familiar with the Cryptosphere. These may be great, but in the long term their growth potential may be limited because you're essentially reaching out to users who are already sold on the idea of being here.
This really became crystal clear to me a few weeks back when our 32-year old son — who's an avid online gamer — came to spend a long weekend with us.
As we were sitting out on the back porch talking one night, he briefly mentioned poking around in "play to earn" crypto-based games... so I asked him if he'd heard of "SplinterLands."
Which he actually had. I filled him in a bit more — just on the GAME, itself — and he actually ended up getting started while he was here!
But here's the kicker: He'd heard of SplinterLands and had looked at it, but he had never heard of Hive! And yet... he now has a Hive account that's marginally powered up to have a few resource credits.
Is he ever going to post content and blog on Hive? VERY unlikely. But he's now participating in something that runs on the Hive blockchain.
Fast Forward to the Present Moment
I regularly follow @penguinpablo's various statistical reports on the state of Hive.
Lately, some very interesting trends have shown up; trends that broadly can be attributed to the sudden growth of Splinterlands.
Most significant of these is the sudden meteoric rise in the number of Hive accounts being created:
After many many months of generally 250-500 new accounts being created daily, that WALL over to the right of the graphic represents "The Splinterlands Effect," with August 26th, 2021 coming within a whisker of 10,000 new accounts created in a single day!
Regardless of whether or not these folks are bloggers or not... it represents a huge increase in usage as well as a reason to own Hive.
How does the price of a cryptocurrency rise? Well, let's start with giving people a good reason to OWN it! Demand goes up because people need to own something; available supply goes down because those tokens are removed from the marketplace.
Hive as "Ethereum 2.0?"
For me, the interesting thing about this entire development is the fact that Hive is enjoying this sudden growth spurt not as a result of Hive, itself, but because of something that's drawing massive amounts of attention to itself in its own right.
Just like our son, I'd be willing to bet that many of these people buying into SplinterLands — and thus Hive — have little or no idea what "Hive" is, nor is it particularly important to them, because they are here for the game.
Why should we care? We should care because any increase in the price of Hive is now demand driven rather than speculation driven.
In a sense, what we're seeing now with SplinterLands strikes me as very similar to the numerous things that are built on the Ethereum blockchain and are used daily by people who have only a peripheral idea what "Ethereum" actually is.
Whereas I realize that many of us around here are bloggers and content creators — and I certainly plan to continue being precisely that — ultimately it seems likely that Hive will increasingly take on the nature of a "utility" token and blockchain, rather than "a thing onto itself." Just like I'm pretty sure there are lots of UniSwap users who don't particularly know or care about ETH.
But that's not a BAD thing! Let's not forget that the ETH token could be bought for less than $10 in early 2017, and today it trades at close to $3,300, a gain of 330x! $100 Hive, anyone?
It could happen...
Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your weekend!
What do YOU think? How important will "externally targeted" dapps be to the growth of Hive and its communities? How far do you think Splinterlands will go? If more and more Hive is tied up in being USED, how will the markets respond? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20210829 16:58 PDT
Posted Using LeoFinance Beta