DeFi Kingdoms Challenges Axie Infinity’s GameFi Supremacy with NFT Play

DeFi Kingdoms NFTs are making a splash in GameFi.

By: Owen Fernau Loading...

DeFi Kingdoms Challenges Axie Infinity’s GameFi Supremacy with NFT Play

Questioning the utility of NFTs as simple collectables may be missing the point.

DeFi Kingdom, an entrant to the blossoming GameFi sector, is expanding the definition of NFTs by offering its version of the tokens, called Heroes. They are playable characters that go on quests to earn tokens. In contrast with static NFT, Heroes gain experience through these adventures and can be equipped with gear to increase their efficacy.

DeFi Kingdom’s Hero NFTs.

The NFTs are one reason why DeFi Kingdom (DFK) is dominating Harmony One, contributing $280M of the blockchain’s $507M in total value locked as of Dec. 14, according to DeFi Llama.

The blockchain game space has been owned by Axie Infinity, whose play-to-earn mechanics created livelihoods for players and made it one of web3’s feel good stories. But DFK is gaining steam.

DeFi Kingdom (DFK) now ranks second behind Axie Infinity in volume in the last day, week, and 30-day period, according to Dapp Radar. In this context volume means the amount of value flowing into a given decentralized application’s smart contracts, a Dapp Radar representative told The Defiant via Telegram.

Metaversal Elements

The number of wallets interacting with DFK has increased by 161.36% in the last 14 days, too, according to a Dec. 12 report put out by analyst Samichpunch, who puts out a bimonthly update on analytics for the GameFi project.

JEWEL, DFK’s primary medium of exchange, has held up well during the recent sell-off, jumping 9.6% in the last 24 hours and 37.9% in the last 30 days as of Dec 14.

What’s driving the project’s growth and how does it work? Hans Hauge, head of quant strategy at asset management firm, Ikigai, who released a long article on DFK on Dec. 13, thinks the project effectively combines DeFi, NFTs, and metaversal elements to create a real functioning economy.

A “real economy” here means one with multiple functioning parts. The five most prominent of these parts are the JEWEL token, a decentralized exchange (DEX), a place to stake liquidity provider tokens called the Gardens, the Hero NFTs, and an upcoming feature called Kingdoms.

JEWEL is a fungible token that can be used to buy in-game NFTs, staked in something called the Bank where it accrues fees from DFK’s DEX and JEWEL transactions, as well as for voting in governance.

Some folks are nearly all in — a prominent DeFi investor who goes simply by Cole, tweeted on Dec. 9 that his only spot exposure is JEWEL and ETH. The investor, who has 15,000 followers, explained his bullish thesis to The Defiant: “DeFi Kingdoms fills a unique niche within the metaverse gaming sector, as it enables users to do everyday DeFi activities like staking and farming while also utilizing gamified mechanics like heroes and quests to enhance these activities.”

Any Asset

DFK’s DEX is based on Uniswap’s groundbreaking automated market maker (AMM) model, and allows users to trade any asset on Harmony, not simply assets relevant for gameplay. The DEX has easily beat out Curve and SushiSwap in terms of attracting TVL on Harmony One, according to DeFi Llama.

Across all chains however the DEX ranks No. 34 among its competitors in TVL, as of Dec 14, according to DeFi Llama.

DFK also features the Gardens, where people can lock their liquidity provider (LP) tokens from the DEX and receive rewards in JEWEL.


Heroes round out DFK’s live features. The NFTs’ use as playable characters shows a possible future for the tokens also seen with metaverse-ready avatars like those of RTFKT. Heroes can also be traded, combined with other heroes to “summon” new ones, and lent, like Axie Infinity’s Axie NFTs.

Kingdoms, DFK’s fifth element, will add a real estate component to the project.

DFK also plans to launch on Avalanche soon, making it the first multi-chain game, according to Hauge. “It’s like you can take your character from an Xbox and load them up on a Playstation, and then load them up on a browser,” said the analyst.

Hauge emphasized the value that stems from liquid in-game assets — instead of people holding digital items they can’t sell or gift to others, most everything in DFK is a token that can be traded for other crypto assets. The analyst contrasted the tokenized paradigm with Pokemon Go, where people may hold too many illiquid assets without the ability to transfer it to other users.

Hauge, previously a developer, believes the DFK team’s enthusiasm is a reason to be bullish as well. “The artists are pouring the heart and soul into this. The devs are delivering,” Hauge said. Someone got a tattoo of one of the project’s characters tattooed on his neck.

DFK has an upcoming roadmap, which lists Kingdoms as three-on-three Hero battles as upcoming features. So there’s a lot for enthusiasts to look forward to.