01 october 2021



  • Splinterlands has become the most active blockchain game in the world, accumulating
  • 388,000 unique user wallets in the past seven days
  • The introduction of the SPS token propelled Splinterlands to new heights
  • The in-game economics are attractive to gamers and investors
  • The SPS governance token is an attractive way to play the expanding ecosystem
  • We believe there are some strong near term return opportunities — the Chaos Legion voucher rewards (>200% APR), ongoing airdrop (>100% APR), card rentals (>50%
  • APR), staking (>80% APR), and asset price appreciation
What is Splinterlands
Splinterlands is a unique digital trading card game that allows players to own their cards and other in-game assets. Thanks to the HIVE blockchain, each card in Splinterlands is a non-fungible token owned by a player. That means that players can do anything they want with their cards, including battling for rewards, holding collectibles, renting or selling on the peer-to-peer market, or earning Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), the official in-game cryptocurrency of Splinterlands.

Splinterlands is free to try, giving players a chance to learn the game mechanics and battle other users. However, if players want to engage in tournaments and access the marketplace, then they need to buy the Summoners Spellbook ($ 10).

The Summoner’s Spellbook upgrade is how players create blockchain accounts that turn them into Splinterlands owners. After the upgrade, players can:

  • Purchase packs, cards and land
  • Earn DEC for battling
  • Join tournaments
  • Transact on the HIVE blockchain
  • Transfer assets in and out of the game

The cost associated with creating a HIVE blockchain account is covered by Splinterlands, and enough resource credits are provided to play Splinterlands.
Exponential User Growth
Splinterlands has been growing at an exponential rate over the past few months, going from around 10k registered users to almost one million by the end of September. The number of DAUs has grown from 166,00 at the beginning of September to 371,000 by the end of the month.

Chart: Daily Active Users, Source: Peakmonsters

The number of new players joining the game on a daily basis had been hovering around 500/day until this summer. In September, this number had jumped to an average of 15,000/day. Given the free-to-try model, perhaps the more relevant number is the number of users that purchase spellbooks. There are now 469,000 users that have bought a spellbook, with 267,000 having paid in the past month.

Chart: Number of players and Spell Books purchased/day, Source: Peakmonsters

Engagement within the game is also building rapidly. In May, for example, around $ 8,000 worth of secondary market transactions occurred on an average day. In July, this had grown to around $ 50k/day and in September exploded to around $ 200k per day.

Chart: Number of cards traded and USD value, Source: Peakmonsters

The market cap of the in-game NFTs has risen in tandem with the popularity of the game. If we look at the total number of cards listed on the secondary market, multiplied by the DEC power that exists for that card, we can get an estimate of how much it would cost to purchase all Splinterlands cards. The asset value of these cards has risen as high as $ 200m in early September.

Chart: Martket Cap of Cards, Source: Peakmonsters

The value creation within the Splinterlands is possible due a robust tokenomic structure of all the assets in the game.

There are two unique pillars to the economy of Splinterlands:

  • Monetary assets (SPS and DEC)
  • In-game items (cards, land, etc)

Monetary Assets

Splinterlands has two fungible tokens that fuel all operations: SPS and DEC.

SPLINTERSHARDS (SPS) is the governance token, representing financial stake in the game and voting power in the DAOs. It has a fixed supply that will gradually be released to the market.

DARK ENERGY CRYSTALS (DEC) is the payment token used as a medium of exchange. DEC aims to be a stable coin, aiming to match the growth of the in-game economy and provide a solid monetary base for in-game economic interactions.


SPS is a new cryptocurrency governance token which will be integrated into the Splinterlands game in order to provide increasing levels of decision-making ability and control over the product to the player-base, asset owners, and other stakeholders. SPS will be set up as a DAO, where users will be able to stake SPS and be used for governance voting in the DAO. SPS will be 100% controlled by the community of token holders, who will ultimately be able to drive the direction of Splinterlands.

SPS tokens will be issued / unlocked in a predetermined schedule which lasts for approximately 65 months from the date that the token is first released.

Splintershards Complete Release Schedule

The maximum total supply of SPS tokens is not planned to exceed 3,000,000,000 which are planned to be allocated as follows:
The primary goal of the token is to reward Splinterlands players and asset holders, which is why 13.33% of the total token supply is going towards an airdrop which will be conducted over a 12 month period to holders of nearly all types of Splinterlands assets.

Next, 10% of the total token supply will be added into a foundation which will be controlled exclusively by the DAO. 50,000,000 of the foundation tokens will be issued on day one and the remainder will be released in even increments over the remaining 64 months.

Some 6.66% will be offered directly in a private sale to a select group of advisors and influencers who will help promote both the token and the Splinterlands product to their audiences and networks and generally help ensure that the project is successful. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the development, promotion, and ongoing maintenance of the SPS token and ecosystem.

9% of the total token supply will be reserved for the Splinterlands team to incentivize and retain talent. A further 1% will be reserved for advisors and partners to help market and promote the project.

Play to Earn: Finally, the remaining 60% of the total token supply will go towards rewarding players, SPS holders, liquidity providers. These tokens will be released on a fixed schedule over the 65 month period and go into separate pools for the various different areas to be rewarded. New SPS tokens will initially be added to the various reward pools at a rate of 37,500,000 tokens per month and will decrease uniformly across all reward pools at a rate of 1% per month, meaning that after 5 years it will have dropped to 20,518,400 SPS per month. These rewards will end after roughly 65 months (1.8 billion SPS tokens in total) and at that point no more SPS tokens will be created.
Dark Energy Crystals (DEC)
DEC is the main in-game currency of Splinterlands. For players that have upgraded their accounts by buying a spellbook, DEC are the reward for winning ranked battles. There is always a pool of DEC rewards, and that pool is constantly divided among the current winning players. This is why the amount of DEC that can be earned per win is always fluctuating.

DEC are released at 1M per day into any energy pool. The reward pool can be increased or decreased to maintain the value of DEC at roughly 1,000 DEC = $ 1. Because so many DEC are always entering the supply through play-to-earn rewards and the backing of cards, there are also ways for DEC to be burned from supply to regulate the balance: purchasing miniset cards, guild contributions, purchasing of skins and potions. Instead of counting towards Splinterlands revenue, these transactions result in DEC being burned from the total supply.

The DEC market cap is currently around $ 18million.

In-game items (NFTs)


Cards are the lifeblood of Splinterlands. Players are able to enjoy the game, with a basic range of free Level one "playable" cards. However, after playing a few battles, players may wish to start building a collection of "real" cards. These may be purchased via the shop or in the marketplace. Each additional card makes your collection more powerful and duplicate cards may be combined to gain higher levels. As the cards gain levels, the stats increase and special abilities are unlocked, enabling promotion to higher leagues. Rewards earned through play are based on the league position at the end of each season.

As each "real" card is an NFT, the player is the owner of an asset. Purchased cards may be combined to increase the level, traded, sold, or rented to other players. An appealing part of the game, apart from understanding the battle strategy, is the opportunity to profit from astute management of the card assets.

Card Editions

So far, there have been 3 core editions and 2 smaller sets released into the market:

  • Alpha (300,000 packs) — May 2018
  • Beta (900,000 packs)
  • Untamed (1,500,000 packs) — Nov 2019
  • Essence Orb Promo (200,000)
  • Azmare Dice (300,000)
  • Reward cards (550,000) can only be found in Loot Chests

The new Chaos Legion edition (15,000,000 packs) — Each pack will contain 5 cards (with the same chance of receiving rare cars as in previous editions). The cost of each pack will be $ 4 each once they are available in the Splinterlands shop. The presale begins on Monday 18 October, 2021.


Splinterlands offers multiple ways for players and investors to profit from the game:

  • Asset value appreciation
  • Rental Yield
  • Voucher rewards
  • Airdrop
  • SPS Staking
  • Land

Asset value appreciation

The market value of the in-game cars has risen exponentially on the back of user growth. With 3.75 million card packs released in the market at a cost of $ 2/pack, we can calculate the book value of the cards at $ 7.5m. However, the market value of the cards is currently worth around $ 162m. As cards are combined and levelled-up, the intrinsic value of the card rises. Moreover, given that all the cards have been sold out, the rapid rise of new gamers entering Splinterlands drives up demand for used card prices.

Acquiring cards for asset value appreciation is therefore an important element for investors. It is a highly liquid marketplace registering 85,000 transactions over the past 24 hours. Many of the cards are now worth hundreds of dollars and out of reach to many new players. This is where the rental market comes in.
Rental Yield

There is also a very active rental market, where players can earn a daily yield on cards that they are not currently using in battle. In the past 24 hours, there are 469,000 active rentals, generating a combined $ 38,000 for the asset owners. For example, a Level 1 "Selenia Sky" costs $ 350 to buy. Alternatively, a player can rent the card on a daily basis for 60 DEC ($ 0.51/day), which equates to an APR of 53%.
Voucher Rewards

The release of the new Chaos Legion set is an attractive investment opportunity that is likely to bring substantial new players / investors into the universe.

The new Chaos Legion edition will add $ 60m to the book value of cards in Splinterlands. The market value is likely to be substantially higher. Firstly, the presale of Chaos packs comes with a number of benefits and bonuses for buying early (airdrops, limited-edition promos, etc).

One million of the total 15 million packs will be available in a 30-day presale window. In order to purchase a pack, players will need one VOUCHER per pack. 33,333.33 vouchers per day will be created per day (1M vouchers in total) and will be awarded to players/investors with SPS tokens staked in their in-game accounts. Vouchers are essentially a measurement of Stake-Days.

We estimate that an investment of 1,000 SPS (roughly $ 560) being held in the staking pool over the pre-sale period could earn a yield of 17.7%, or an annualized 212%.

Players that hold assets in Splinterlands will receive SPS tokens on a daily basis over the next 300 days. 400M SPS tokens (13.33%) of total supply will be airdropped to players based on the amount of assets held in their account. As such, players will earn a collective 1.1M SPS per day ($ 615,000). At the current card market cap of $ 162m, the airdrop will deliver $ 225m worth of SPS (APR of 138%).

SPS Staking

For holders of SPS, investors can also participate in the Staking. The SPS staking pool is currently estimating an APR of 81.4%. The unstaking process takes 4 weeks, with 25% of the unstaked coins becoming available after each week. There is currently 110.5M of the 240M total supply of SPS that has been staked.


The land expansion is the next major evolution of the Splinterlands game which is planned to be released in phases over the course of the year. The details and economy of the expansion are still being designed, and information on how SPS tokens can be earned via land ownership will become available as it nears release.

It is important to note that the expansion is planned to be almost an entire new game within the current Splinterlands game, and will allow landowners full control over the minting of completely new types of cards that can be used in the existing Splinterlands battle game.

Splinterlands Projection Model

We extrapolated current trends to project the Splinterlands platform growth through the next twelve months. Splinterlands is currently seeing exponential growth rates in registered users and paying accounts.

Key Assumptions:

Growth in registered accounts: Doubled over the past 4 weeks to around 1m by end September. We assume it doubles again in six weeks, then doubles again in the following 8 weeks. Overall, we think there could be close to 10m registered accounts.

Spellbooks: We assume that 50% of registered users purchase a spellbook at $ 10 per person.

Chaos Pack Release: We assume that 1m packs are released per month at $ 4/pack

Marketplace transactions: We keep marketplace fees constant at 5% of transaction value.
Disclosure: 3Commas Capital has invested in SPS. Members of our team may hold SPS and related NFTs and hold advisory roles. This statement is intended to disclose any conflict of interest and should not be misconstrued as a recommendation to purchase any token. This content is for informational purposes only, and you should not make decisions based solely on it. This is not investment advice.