Street Fighter NFTs, WAX, and the Hard Road of Onboarding "Normies"

By Chris Roberts | Non-Fungible Stew | 10 Feb 2021

The Street Fighter NFT release slated for WAX in about a week has been highly anticipated by the collectible NFT and gaming communities. They may not be promising any immediate gaming utility like Alien Worlds or a fancy model of staking rewards like KOGs from RFOX Games, but they are Capcom. That's right, the video game giant that most of us remember from our childhood has loaned their brand name to a collectible card release on none other than the WAX blockchain.


Recognize these guys?

While nobody truly knows what to expect by a sale such as this, the simple fact that it is happening (and that it is happening on WAX) speaks volumes. In this article, I will give you a rundown of what to expect with the sale. Some of my conclusions may be sacrilegious to crypto maximalists, while others may by downright enraging to those who feel that the whole industry of blockchain collectibles is some sort of scam. The latter are terribly wrong, but I will never bother with trying to convince them of that.

First for those of you who may have never set foot in an arcade for some reason, Street Fighter is a franchise of games created by Capcom first in 1987. Street Fighter 2 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was one of the most popular side scrolling fighter games ever, with what was essentially an entire genre of video games forming around it. I was never a huge fan of the Street Fighter games in their original arcade versions (because of all the hand-hurting and button-mashing), but I was very much into playing the versus mode of the SNES game with my friends and brothers as I was growing up.


I would not go so far to even call myself a "fan" of the Street Fighter franchise, but as a proponent of blockchain and NFT collectibles, I will be jumping into this collection with at least a couple hundred dollars of real money. Why do I specify real money? Because according to what I have heard, they will NOT be accepting WAX for the purchase of packs in the primary sale. The 2 levels of packs available will only be sold by credit card. I have heard some grumbling about this aspect of the collection, and I'm here today hammering away at my keyboard to give you WAX evangelical grumblers a little eye-opening perspective.


It's Not Money Yet

Here's an unpopular opinion in this industry that I'll just let fly: Cryptocurrency is not money yet. No matter how much we all long for a world in which our crypto is as easy to spend and utilize as our dollars, we are still a small community of people shilling a technology day after day that we believe in. At best, cryptocurrency can be considered money for investment or a money of the future. At worst... well, I won't even get into the worst things that can happen to those who make poor decisions in the world of crypto.

I have heard people say things like "How dare they not accept WAX?!" and "They wouldn't even be able to do this without WAX!" These examples of fake outrage are nonsense, and I'll explain why by telling my story with WAX.

I am a United States citizen. This means that WAX is tremendously difficult for me to simply buy. Nearly a year ago (yep, it's only been a year), Topps and Garbage Pail Kids announced that they would be creating the first mainstream digital blockchain-backed trading cards, and that they would be using the WAX blockchain. WAX had a relatively small community at the time, and still does, even though many new layers of development have been implemented since the first GPK release last year. 

When GPK announced that the sale would be available to those with credit cards, the crypto community went mad. They were incredibly pissed, and at the time I did not understand why. Since then I have learned why, but the reason ain't pretty, and sadly, many people have not gotten the memo or learned the lesson.


Until we are able to hide the blockchain bullshit, money will be money and crypto will be crypto.

What do I mean by that statement? We need the things that blockchain can do for money. What we don't need is a small incestuous world of loudmouths bragging about those things. Every productive and hardworking person out there in any field or industry can tell you: It's not about what you say you can do. It's about what you can actually do. Unfortunately what I've seen the world of crypto and blockchain doing over the last few years is trying as hard as they can to keep the world small, to make themselves feel smart and special, and to make others ashamed that they did not also have the genius foresight to become early adopters (whatever that means.)

When I saw that the first GPK WAX sale would be available for purchase by credit card, I was thrilled. Without that option, I would have been expected to simply come up with WAX somehow, even though there was no easy way to do that in my country. I would have to navigate a labyrinth of exchanges, facing a barrage of fees and unnecessary risks. Instead, this was my opportunity to acquire WAX when there were no other opportunities.

Like so many others in this industry, I have not invested, I have earned my crypto. I view my crypto holdings as an investment portfolio, but not one to be easily transferred to and from dollars. When I work for a paycheck, that money is deposited into my old world checking account and is used to pay my bills. If I ever need to withdraw crypto into that checking account, I view it as a loss, because from that point, the money will only be spent on the bills. My goal in crypto is to control an ever-increasing portfolio of earned assets that I can use to consistently increase the value of the entire portfolio. It has gone amazingly well so far, even with all of the failures along the way. I have made some terrible decisions, but these basic principles to which I have adhered have allowed me to now possess a portfolio that is worth many thousands of dollars and huge potential for growth.


I work for Splinterlands. The STEEM wallet (full of staked crypto that I earned for creating content) and the Splinterlands assets that resulted from it were the first example of these holdings. I still think of them as my first savings account. Ironically, as I have become more entrenched in the ideas of blockchain and NFTs and more knowledgeable about the space, WAX has become the place where the majority of my assets' value are held. This all started with a sale that accepted only dollars through credit card purchases.


Using a credit card, I spent $75 on GPK series 1 packs. In a few of those packs I got pretty lucky, and by using the secondary market I was able to increase my WAX holdings substantially. I even received one of the promotional limited-edition golden cards, which I still hold. Only a few days after this sale, I had WAX in my wallet, which would not have been possible without their requirement of using a credit card for purchase.


I was hooked. I wanted to be in on as many of these sales as I could. The next one was the Shatner Cards. I thought, "This has to be huge. It's friggin' Captain Kirk." I was wrong about the hugeness. As it turns out, Captain Kirk didn't give two shits about crypto; it was just something his PR guys got him in on. In fact, the real William Shatner mostly despises the crypto community, and with the way they have treated him, for good reason. Anyway, with all the overhype and letdown of the Shatner cards, I could not be stopped from making money off of the sale. Again, I bought in with a small amount of credit card money and came out with a good pile of WAX in my wallet. Now I was getting somewhere. 


With the addition of the Blockchain Heroes (who actually DID accept WAX in their primary sale) I was finally able to get some really good footing in WAX, preparing me for the big one: KOGs. I did this by getting lucky and landing one of the 1 of 2 Secret Smoke variants, which I promptly sold for $1200. This was after another spending of about $50 if memory serves. Now I had my seed money.

When it was finally time for the KOGs sale in August (the one I had been waiting for), I had over $1000 in WAX ready to spend. Are you following my adventure? I would have had nothing had it not been for the original fact that GPK accepted only credit card payments. I would still have been sitting there wondering how I could (as an American) get WAX into my Cloud Wallet. Instead, I was given by Topps (a real established company) the opportunity to purchase blockchain assets with real money, and this made all the difference.

Accepting money through traditional payment methods for these sales is not only acceptable, it is necessary and essential for success of the entire industry. Do not fight it, or you're part of the problem instead of the solution.

I'm now sitting on a KOGs collection that is worth a modest estimate of $30,000 and a Blockchain Heroes collection that is worth easily $2-3k. Even my Shatner cards are worth hundreds of dollars, as well as my remaining series 1 GPK cards. All the thousands of dollars of secondary market fees and all the liquidity and volume that I have provided through months of trading and activity on the WAX blockchain. None of it would have happened if I had not been onboarded by a company that was not afraid to offer a sale exclusive in evil fiat money.

I'm a smart guy. There are definitely smarter people than me all over this industry, and I have no problem with that. As a marketer for the space however, I realize that the people we're looking to onboard to find "mass adoption" are much dumber than we are. Just look at the crap that's lately been happening with DOGE. For the last few days, there has been a trending article on Twitter from Bloomberg claiming that DOGE is "leaving Bitcoin in the dust" (screenshot below). I can't even begin to express how dumb these masses are that we're trying to win over with ideas and technology that are still going over the heads of smart people. We have a long way to go, folks.


much eye roll, many sacrasm.

But enough about all that. Let's get into the details of the WAX release, which begins on February 18th at noon EST.

In this sale, two types of packs will be sold: A Standard Card pack of 10 cards ($9.99), and an Ultimate card pack with 60 cards ($49.99).

The primary sale will happen for 24 hours with an unlimited amount of packs, so the total supply of this edition is undetermined. KOGs used a similar sale method for both their 1st and 2nd editions' primary sales, but their windows were only three hours. With Street Fighter, opening packs and crafting will not begin until the moment the primary sale ends, exactly 24 hours after it starts.

Crafting - This is the aspect of Street Fighter cards that will most set them apart from previous WAX releases. This mechanic reminds me of Splinterlands, who has already proven its effectiveness with NFT collectibles for years. Splinterlands cards can only be leveled up by combining like cards together. This mechanic causes the scarcity of collectibles to continue rising as time goes on. 44% of the Street Fighter cards found in packs are a rarity called "Build Cards." By combining Build Cards, collectors will be able to craft cards of greater rarity.


It's a bit unclear from the specific above wording how many cards will be required to elevate the Build Cards to the various power scores, but the basic mechanic is explained. Like with BCX in Splinterlands cards, the total supply of all Build Cards will go down once the majority of the packs have been opened. Ideally, this will make the Build Cards worth more to hold onto in the long run. 

MY PLAN - I have not yet decided how much money I'll spend on this sale. It will probably be somewhere between $100 and $200. I will mostly likely buy 2 or 3 Ultimate Packs and a handful of Standard Packs, since the drop rates seem to be the same for all cards.

As I described in the lengthy section above, this sale will be another opportunity for me to accumulate some WAX using fiat funds from my bank account. Because of the recent implementation of KOGs staking and anticipation of the game's March release, secondary market sales of KOGs have been difficult to make. While I have no long-term loyalty to Street Fighter collectibles, I expect the money that I am able to make from the primary sale to fund my completion of the rest of my desired KOGs sets as we prepare for the second staking window that opens on February 28th. I have lots of KOGs, and while I intend to sell many of them, I can wait to do so until people are looking to buy for prices that I like. Patience is key in these collectible games.

I will certainly record some video of cracking Street Fighter packs, and you can expect to see some of my hauls shown off here and on Twitter following the primary sale. 

Make sure you submit your email address at Street Fighter and join their community. You never know what kind of good fortune may befall you in these releases, especially through email and social media giveaways. Pay close attention, and be on guard, because next week, the street fight is on.

Remember, all of us in this industry have the same goals. Sometimes it's easier to feel special than to remind ourselves that us early adopters are only a small piece of the puzzle. We want our money to be the money of the future, but that will never happen unless we are open to accepting money on the terms of those who came before us. In that way, we are honoring them and showing them that we are not afraid of a future that we can all share. Together.

Thanks for reading NON-FUNGIBLE STEW


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Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts

Content Director for Splinterlands

Non-Fungible Stew
Non-Fungible Stew

As I have delved into the world of blockchain gaming and Play-to-Earn, I have discovered many incredible projects (beyond Splinterlands) that deserve my support and attention. Here you'll find new projects and opportunities to explore so that we can all spend our time playing (and earning) together. Here's to the future! Welcome to Non-Fungible Stew!

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