As one of the most hyped projects of 2021, DFK (DefiKingdoms) had everything it needed to succeed. From an innovative model to its involved community, the projects seemed to be just a few steps from achieving blue-chip status.

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Despite this, its native token, $JEWEL, has fallen more than 99% since its all-time high earlier this year. So, what happened to the project, and will it eventually be able to regain its high-flying status?

A Quick Refresher

DFK is a Gamefi project created by FriskyFox, where heroes can quest to earn $JEWEL. Unlike other Web3 game projects, DFK focused on gamifying DeFi, making concepts like farming and liquidity provision easier to understand.

Built on the Harmony network, the project received mainstream attention after their initial 2000 heroes minted out in minutes.

Alongside a strong community, the team’s constant delivery created bullish sentiment around the project.

Signs of Trouble

While everyone was calling for $100 $JEWEL at first, things eventually took a turn for the worse. This was largely due to a lack of transparency from the team, and it did not help that they were largely anonymous.

For example, several heroes owned by team members had their stats artificially altered. This meant they could be exponentially more valuable than those available to the public, and therefore worth more.

Users also discovered that the initial liquidity provider for DFK had not only been farming and selling tokens, but also participating in airdrop raffles. This initial liquidity was also provided by a friend of Frisky Fox, known as “LiquidLuck”.

Moreover, the Harmony blockchain regularly faced congestion due to its inability to process the massive number of transactions. Combined with various exploits and “gaming” of the system, average users felt slighted by what DFK had become.

A Glimmer of Hope

Earlier this year, the price of $JEWEL recovered, largely thanks to the launch of DFK chain. As the Avalanche’s maiden subnet, DFK chain was the first of many expansions planned out by the team.

Within the first 24 hours of launch, the subnet saw more than $235 Million of inflows, with more than 1 million transactions.

Unfortunately, the expansion failed to attract more unique participants. Furthermore, the expansion did not present novel features that many were looking forward to.

As the allure of a shiny new thing disappeared, users began selling and leaving the ecosystem.

DeFi With Extra Steps

The major problem with DFK is that there is no actual gameplay.

While games such as Crabada have gotten mainstream attention thanks to their PVP aspect, DFK players can only quest. Though these quests do have rewards, they are not the “game” that most participants signed up for.

Recently, they introduced the “DFK Duel” minigame to satisfy the need for gameplay. However, this came in the form of non-interactive stat-checking.

Furthermore, we can easily see problems with such a format, where whales can simply buy the most expensive heroes, or afford resources to train them up. For those with only a few hundred, or thousand dollars, there is little to no point in playing.

Compared to traditional triple-A games which are a fraction of that cost and allow for hours of competitive gameplay, the narrative of “Defi with extra steps” becomes more evident every day.

Closing Thoughts

The overarching problem of many Web3 games – not just DFK, is the need for a token. Traditionally, a game would have to be completed before going on sale. Crypto circumvents this, often for the worse, leaving investors with a roadmap that may or may not be fulfilled.

With that said, I do believe that if any team were to succeed in gamefi, it would have been the DFK team.

Not only have they delivered spectacularly on their roadmap thus far, but also doxed themselves live to earn the community’s trust.  

DFK itself was also originally planned to be a multi-year project and is barely halfway through.

However, the harmony bridge hack has depressed morale to an all-time low. With every step forward, it seems that Web3 and crypto is set on forcing them two steps backward.

Also Read: Is GameFi Dead? What It Takes To Unlock The Next Wave Of Adoption

[Editor’s Note: This article does not represent financial advice. Please do your own research before investing.]

Featured Image Credit: Chain Debrief