In June 2018, CryptoStrikers made cryptocurrency headlines when it was announced that it will be the first startup to be supported by Status Incubate, the startup assistance program by the Status blockchain.
Since then, CryptoStrikers has not only launched but has also become available as a fully functional product, which remains accessible all over the world.
Which brings one question to mind.
What is CryptoStrikers?
CryptoStrikers Review: Introduction
Simply put, CryptoStrikers is a collectible trading card game that has gone through the blockchain treatment and currently exists on the Ethereum blockchain as a decentralized application (DApp).
Does it offer digital collectibles? Yes.
Does it exist on Ethereum? Yes.
If those answers remind you of the ever-famous CryptoKitties, then you are not alone. That comparison has already been made by various blockchain community members, and even by the entities which back CryptoStrikers in a financial manner.
However, it does not mean that CryptoStrikers is a rip-off of the digital fluff balls that continue garnering the interests of industry giants in left, right and center.
Instead, CryptoStrikers intends to carve an identity of its own and aims to contribute to Ethereum’s Web3 ecosystem rather than taking advantage of it and giving nothing in return.
Inspired by a sticker album from 2014, CryptoStrikers aims to bring blockchain to the masses by the use of familiar and often well-loved figures of athletes. Before you start thinking that it might be a completely idealistic approach with no business acumen, then you may need to think again.
CryptoStrikers Review: What Are Trading Cards and Why Should I Care?
If you are new to the trading card space, then this would be the perfect section to start learning about it. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned collector, then you can just go through this as a light yet informative read.
Trading cards, or sports cards in this sense, are a very popular mode of investment for a wide variety of people all over the world. While it can be viewed as a hobby, it is much more than that.
And that statement can be reaffirmed by PWCC Marketplace, the largest seller of trading cards that records no less than $50 million in annual revenue.
The cards have a large physical market where they are sold through various direct manufacturers or vendors, and also on open marketplaces within card traders. These different models of acquiring and selling these cards make them a saturated market which millions of people participate in on a global basis.
While this may seem like juvenile behavior, you may think of this as someone buying real estate or jewelry even if they already have got plenty of them. They are not just buying it to spend money, they are buying it to invest in something that has real value besides their liquid assets.
And more often than not, trading cards are treated the same way by those who cannot afford to invest in large-scale commodities.
If the fans of any sports who buy these trading cards out of their fascination for their favorite players are the life of this business model, then the aforementioned investor segment is the blood. Both of these buyer segments come together to make trading cards an actual, recognizable industry, and that is where CryptoStrikers comes in.
CryptoStrikers Review: The Problems in the Trading Card Industry
As popular as trading cards can be, as you may have imagined, their trading model does not come without its flaws.
As mentioned above, the cards are available both through original vendors at the time of their initial release, and through different marketplaces later on. While the former model is a clean and clear exchange of products with a preset price, the latter is where the problems arise.
Sometimes, those who can afford to buy trading cards in bulk often invest in them heavily in order to sell them at a higher price when the market shows a scarcity in supply and an exponential increase in demand. This causes them to sell off their cards at unimaginable high prices, and yes, people still buy them.
While this would still be understandable for rare cards, this staged shortage has significant negative effects on those investors who buy common cards at a higher price, only to know days later that the market is now saturated.
The trade does not always go fairly either. Counterfeit sports cards are unfortunately widespread in the card trading community, and there is no certain way for the buyer to know a card is fake until they hold it in their hands. Even then, most counterfeit copies pass as originals easily, which makes the business of trading sports card a murky place even if one is only trying to play fairly.
These online marketplaces also limit the opportunities that people could have on a global basis. For instance, it is difficult to ship cards from the United States to the Middle East. It does not only take time but also leaves your investment in limbo in case your shipment takes too long or gets lost on the way.
The use of digital trading cards through blockchain addresses these problems effectively. It ensures a variety of aspects. The first is that you are able to buy cards transparently and without staged market scarcity. Then, that you can trust the authenticity and credibility that they offer, and finally, that you have a platform where you can buy and sell cards from all over the world with the transaction completing almost instantly.
That is how CryptoStrikers aims to resolve these issues.
CryptoStrikers Review: How CryptoStrikers Solves These Problems
As a DApp, CryptoStrikers has all the abilities to leverage the aforementioned features of blockchain to its advantage, which it does quite effectively.
Since it is based on the Ethereum blockchain that has already proven its capability with a similar model in CryptoKitties, CryptoStrikers does not have much to prove that its concept is believable, which sets it apart from many other blockchain ventures out there.
Through blockchain’s immutable ledger, CryptoStrikers ensures that any cards cannot be replicated as counterfeit; that cards cannot be destroyed or kept hidden for the sake of creating scarcity; and that fraudulent transactions never take place on the trading marketplace.
CryptoStrikers is accessible through DApp explorer browsers and extensions such as MetaMask, Brave, or Status. This means that it is globally available and accessible to everyone regardless of their physical location.
It functions through an interface that is easy to operate while showcasing the sports cards in all of their glory. The sports cards are the stars of this venture, and the way they have been illustrated digitally does make them very appealing.
CryptoStrikers Review: How Does CryptoStrikers Work?
As with any other sports trading game, the sports cards in CryptoStrikers come with different tiers as well.
The company started its trading card line with the launch of its 2018 FIFA World Cup cards on June 11, 2018. It segregated the cards in two basic sections: the “Originals” set and the “Iconics” set.
By default, a collector’s objective is to collect all the cards. CryptoStrikers also ran a competition to encourage collectors to complete their sets as soon as possible, where it rewarded those individuals who had collected all cards by July 20, 2018.
In its entirety, the Original set consists of cards of 100 players from the 2018 FIFA World Cup; whereas, the Iconics set comprises of 32 limited edition cards. These are the sets that a collector has to complete to fulfill their objective.
What sets these collections apart is the distinct artwork as well as the availability of the Iconics players within the Standard set. At the time of release, these cards were sold in “Packs”, segregated in “Standard” and “Original”, in which different sets of cards were available. This model has since been discontinued.
While the cards had been available to purchase directly from CryptoStriker’s official store around the release, that mode of purchase ended by July 16, 2018. The cards are now only available through the official marketplace, which operates through the OpenSea platform.
The marketplace is a peer-to-peer trading platform. Collectors can still buy any available card, but they are no longer sold in set packs. Instead, cards are available at the seller’s set price, which can be influenced by the prices of other cards or market conditions.
At the time of writing, CryptoStrikers works as a viable platform that has received a warm welcome by its target market and the larger cryptocurrency community.
It has little room for failure seeing that it operates on smart contracts and a model which has already been effectively demonstrated in the blockchain world. The latest example of this would again come from CryptoKitties, where the priciest of the digital felines was sold for more than $170,000 in September 2018.
CryptoStrikers Review: Conclusion
If you are looking for a new trading game and an app that could let you explore the wonders of blockchain in a recreational manner, then try out CryptoStrikers, it definitely will not hurt. If anything, the artwork would be worth something now and much more in the future as well.