We Put Sports Cards on the Blockchain. Here’s What We Learned.

A Retrospective, and a Look to the Future

Gianni Settino
Jul 23, 2018 · 6 min read

In early March, Benn and I officially decided to start building CryptoStrikers. On May 22nd, we published a blog post announcing the project to the world. On June 11th, backed by the awesome folks at Status, we went live.

The month that followed was an absolute whirlwind for our team of two, as we split our time between engineering, marketing, business development, customer support, and (sometimes) sleep.

Fast Forward to Today

  • 👤 Over 1,500 registered users (from 81 different countries)
  • 🃏 10,261 cards minted (distributed across 630 unique wallet addresses)
  • 🥇 Spent the tournament ranked as the #1 Collectibles app on Ethereum, according to DappRadar
  • 🔒 No vulnerabilities found in our smart contracts

However, what we’re most proud of is the community we’ve built on Discord. It’s been crazy seeing it grow from nothing to a vibrant ecosystem with its own memes, an active #trading channel, and a never-ending stream of valuable product feedback. Seriously, all of you are awesome, and interacting with you daily has been a blast.

Quick Shoutouts

For instance:

  • We didn’t have time to build our own marketplace, so we just used OpenSea for all our card auctions (which worked great right out of the box, s/o Devin and Alex!). One of our users (George Kunthara) even pulled from the OpenSea API and built a really cool dashboard where you can browse all the latest card sale data.
  • When we launched, users could only do one-for-one card swaps, but the Atomic Bazaar guys (Jordan and Daniel) built a service that enabled you to trade your CryptoStrikers in an infinite combination of ways (for example, Neymar and Salah for Messi + 2 CryptoKitties).
  • Although we think it’s super important for players to be able to showcase their collections, this is an area of the product we definitely didn’t nail on day one. Luckily, Todd shipped NIFTYgallery and did it way better than we ever could 😉.

I really think this ecosystem of collaboration and experimentation is one of the most exciting parts about the space. We’re all in this together, and it’s pretty dope that we’re all helping each other out as we push the boundaries of true digital ownership.

The Million Dollar Question: What’s Next?

Answer: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (but we have some ideas!)

Juan, one of our power users, always keeping us on our toes!

I’m gonna be completely honest here: nobody knows what the digital collectibles space is going to look like in 6 months (let alone 4 years!), and I’d be extremely wary of anybody who claims that they do.

From exciting scalability solutions (CryptoStrikers users are familiar with the pain of a congested network 😤), to new token standards and first-time conferences, a lot is happening — and it’s happening very quickly. We need to take some time review all the developments that we missed over the last month, while also remaining attentive to everything that’s yet to come. Trust us when we say that if it’s something that can make our product better, we’re doing a deep dive on it!

While it’s pretty difficult to plan out a product roadmap when the ground is constantly shifting under your feet, there’s one thing we’re absolutely certain about.

This is unacceptable:

Follow Saya on Twitter, she’s great!

Our ultimate goal is for CryptoStrikers to be accessible to mainstream users, and the above list illustrates how intimidating the current onboarding flow is for 99% of people.

Benn and I just spent a week in NYC talking to others in the space, meeting with our partners, and discussing the future of the product. To make the game more appealing to casual fans, here are the things we’ve decided to focus on:

  • ⛽ Gas sucks. We’re evaluating infrastructure options to completely abstract away transaction fees from the end user.
  • 🎮 New gameplay features that increase both the utility and the uniqueness of player cards. Our Starred Cards feature is an example of the direction we want to pursue: use your cards in some kind of game, and when you win, the card itself accrues some special attributes that make it more unique.
Only one user managed to earn two stars on a single card
  • 📱 The data shows that most of our users are accessing the CryptoStrikers website from their phone. This makes sense — it’s cool to have your cards in your pocket at all times, and to whip out your phone to make a few trades when you have some downtime. We will double down on mobile because we think it provides the best user experience for what we’re trying to build.
  • 🏆 We’re exploring official partnerships with leagues and players associations, which will allow our users to express their fandom in novel ways.
  • 💰 To help this project reach its full potential, we will need to scale our team, so in the short-term we will be dedicating time to fundraising and hiring.

To Our Users

Since cards are no longer being minted (aside from a few referral bonus cards that still need to be claimed), we will be updating the site to display the actual minted count for each card instead of the max mint limit.

No matter what v2 of the product ends up looking like, we personally promise that your Original and Iconic CryptoStrikers cards will carry over to the new app and be usable in whatever future games we build.

We also promise to keep communicating openly regarding our plans and next steps. We value the ongoing dialogue we have with you, and we want to make sure to involve you guys/girls every step of the way. If you signed up to participate in our feedback sessions (you can still register here), we will be in touch shortly to schedule a time to chat.

Lastly, thank you so much for everything. We’ve been passionate about the idea of blockchain-based sports cards from day one, and your ongoing support and feedback has shown that we’re not the only ones (you even stuck with us through some pretty crazy times with the Ethereum network!).

We hope that you all join us on the next steps of this journey.

Sincerely,

The CryptoStrikers Team

CryptoStrikers

Rare and beautiful sports cards on the Ethereum blockchain.

Thanks to Benn Gurton

Gianni Settino

Written by

I build tech products. Currently @CryptoStrikers. Formerly @PlayDraft. NYC/MTL

CryptoStrikers

Rare and beautiful sports cards on the Ethereum blockchain.

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