CoinEx Introduction: The Story Behind the $100,000 Card Price of Splinterlands, the Blockchain Version of Hearthstone

4 min readSep 13, 2021

A while back, the NFT card game Splinterlands launched the governance token SPS and quietly became one of the top three DappRadar games. Now, the game has reappeared on the market’s radar. Players and investors who have seen the boom of Axie Infinity will never want to miss Splinterlands.

As a blockchain game that has been running on Steem for 3 years, Splinterlands’ design logic, gaming mechanism, impressive graphics, and diversified gameplay helped it gain plenty of loyal players. Blockchain games are very trending in 2019; however, at the time, due to restraints such as the low-performing blockchain technologies and the lack of developer teams, blockchain games launched over the past few years focused more on tokens rather than the game itself.

Simply put, Splinterlands is a collectible NFT card game. Previously known as Steemmonsters, the game was later renamed Splinterlands because of additional elements such as NFT and land auction. This improvement made Splinterlands a first-class blockchain game that allows for more imagination than Axie Infinity. Though its gameplay resembles Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone, Splinterlands essentially differs from games like Hearthstone.

Although players may trade their cards freely in Hearthstone, the cards are still locked in the game and accounts. Additionally, in this game, players have no idea of the specific supply of cards and cannot prevent Blizzard from issuing more cards.

In Splinterlands, players can also build up a collection of cards, which all have different stats and abilities, and use them to battle other players in skill-based matches. The difference is that by using blockchain technology, players own these crypto assets, and they can buy, sell, and trade their digital assets freely just as if they were physical cards. Furthermore, anyone can know exactly how many cards are remaining. Other than the NFT cards and land auctions, the game has also introduced new elements such as card combination and trading, adding more appealing gameplay to this blockchain version of Heartstone.

Splinterlands features cards of different editions. Before getting started, players must first purchase the Summoner’s Spellbook. According to the official website, the starter cards are priced at $10. Then, players can spend $2 buying Booster Packs, each of which contains 5 random cards from newer editions with at least one guaranteed to be rare or better.

The more Booster Packs you buy, the more likely you will get powerful epic or legendary cards. Apart from buying Booster Packs for an upgrade of cards, players can also buy cards sold by other players directly from the market. In addition, players winning a match will have their level upgraded in proportion to the opponent’s level. As players upgrade, they are entitled to leagues at higher levels and unlock better cards.

Of course, the rewards available to a player are also subject to his Splinterlands assets, including cards, packs, land, and crystals (DEC). Splinterlands will welcome an increasing number of players as the game becomes more popular. If new players want to win more matches, they will need better cards. As such, the purchase or borrow of cards by new players will drive up the market cap of the Splinterland NFT cards. Now, some rare gold cards go for $100,000, and even regular cards are becoming more expensive.

Splinterlands has launched two types of tokens in the game: the governance token SPS and the fuel token DEC (crystals). The two play different roles, and their values significantly differ.

The primary function of the DEC fuel token (crystals) is to buy game items and lift a player’s ranking. Players winning a match will receive crystal rewards. After playing a few matches, many players can get packs and crystal rewards and then earn profits by withdrawing the rewards through certain channels.

SPS is the governance token of Splinterlands that provides decision-making ability and control over the product for players, asset owners, and other stakeholders. The primary roles of SPS include community governance voting, game rewards, and staking rewards. Each staked SPS will be worth one vote, so the more SPS a player has staked, the more they will be able to influence the results of the votes. Furthermore, everyone can submit a governance proposal for voting provided that he pays a fee in SPS which will be burned.

The SPS governance rights cover Splinterlands-sponsored tournaments and prizes; quests; season and leaderboard rewards; battle settings (time limits, mana cap, rules, etc.); DEC pools, etc.

In other words, the value of SPS determines the value of the game.

It has been reported that the total supply of SPS is 3 billion, of which 400 million will be allocated to gamers and collectors. Right now, with investments from well-known institutional investors such as Animoca Brands, Splinterlands has continued to update the gaming platform. It is noteworthy that SPS is now listed on crypto exchanges such as and CoinEx. Let’s wait and see whether Splinterlands can resume the success of Axie Infinity.