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Why Ethereum Game ‘Fantasy Top’ Is Taking Over Crypto Twitter

What’s Crypto Twitter buzzing about now? A game built around Crypto Twitter, believe it or not—one offering sizable rewards and incentives for players.

Fantasy Top is captivating the crypto faithful by transforming the industry’s biggest and buzziest social media personalities into Ethereum NFT trading cards on scaling network Blast. Players can crush rivals by creating card lineups that have the best real-world Twitter engagement during each competition, and earn crypto and in-game prizes in return.

Crypto’s biggest tweeters have excitedly embraced it, promoting their own in-game cards or sharing their lineups, as well as bragging about how much their NFTs have surged in value in a short period of time. They’re even forming private groups of holders to discuss strategies and incentivize buyers.

Launched on Blast mainnet on May 1 by pseudonymous creator Travis Bickle, Fantasy Top is effectively Sorare if it were built around outspoken crypto personalities and traders rather than professional soccer players. The influencers in question earn a small cut of each trade of their own cards, along with other perks—but many appear to have invested significantly into building their own lineups, too.

This is an attention economy

And @fantasy_top_ is gamifying it pic.twitter.com/nkN9QYYvY8

— Tenacious (@TenaciousBit) May 6, 2024

The list of in-game NFT “heroes” includes meme coin trader of the moment Ansem, 9dcc founder Gmoney, Blast founder Pacman, famed weird tweeter Greg16676935420, DeGods creator Frank, whale NFT traders Pranksy and Machi Big Brother, and even Su Zhu—the co-founder of collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

Machi just deposited 700 ETH into his @fantasy_top_ wallet

Expecting some big sales today pic.twitter.com/lxWtxOcfU2

— Clemente (@Chilearmy123) May 6, 2024

Farokh Sarmad of Rug Radio, which is merging with Decrypt, is another one of the featured personalities.

It’s about more than just buying the NFTs of crypto traders you like and putting them in a lineup for each competition, however. There are multiple rarity levels to cards, including the ability to trade up multiple lower-level cards to unlock a higher level, which provides a points boost in each competition.

There’s another curious wrinkle to consider: Scoring is based on your lineup’s actual social media engagement, which raises the question of what counts as quality engagement—and how that could potentially be manipulated.

Some of the most expensive cards in Fantasy Top. Image: Decrypt

One “hero” in question, content creator Jenn Duong, temporarily put her Twitter account private on Sunday after noticing that one of her Twitter videos had abnormally large engagement numbers. She suggested that users were “botting” her content, or artificially inflating the engagement, which she feared would cause potential issues with her own play.

“People don’t want to play fair and I’m not going to risk messing up my X algo,” she tweeted, adding: “Please do not bot my shit. I don’t need it. I’m betting on me, and I want to win on my own merit.

“You’re fucking up the systems for other creators,” she added.

Please do not bot my shit. I don’t need it.

I’m betting on me, and I want to win on my own merit.

You’re fucking up the systems for other creators.

— Jenn (@jenndefer) May 5, 2024

But the Fantasy Top hype continues unabated, and arguably hit a fever peak early Monday with the announcement of the prize pool for the first “Main Competition” that just began: over $150,000 worth of Ethereum (50 ETH), plus 222,222 Blast Gold that will lead to an airdrop allocation for the network—along with card packs and other in-game rewards.

While 50 ETH is no small change for a crypto game that launched last week, the far bigger prize could come from the Blast Gold. Crypto industry observers estimate the value of each Blast Gold above $10, putting that part of the prize pool potentially well above $2 million in total.

trading volume is on the rise for @fantasy_top_ as we approach main tournament #1

current volume is > 50% of Ethereum mainnet’s total NFT volume

src: https://t.co/q91HcFqt6A pic.twitter.com/1N8tlxnOFm

— hildobby (@hildobby_) May 6, 2024

Players scrambled to buy up cards on the Fantasy Top marketplace, generating millions of dollars’ worth of trading on scaling network Blast in the process—equaling more than 50% of the total trading volume on Ethereum mainnet early Monday.

A Flipside Crypto dashboard from analyst Hildobby shows over 7,000 ETH worth of NFT trading volume (over $21 million worth at the current price) and over 31,000 total users this week.

Fantasy Top has been a shot in the arm for Crypto Twitter denizens, resuscitating the positive vibes that have been missing in recent weeks amid a market lull. But we’ll see whether a fantasy sports riff featuring Twitter influencers has the depth and intrigue to maintain momentum after the initial novelty and Blast network incentives fade.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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