I've been having a lot of informal discussions about the growth of Cardsphere's community and economy with people, and figured it was about time to provide some stats for the record. We'll follow up this post with another on our one-year anniversary in May.
This first chart shows the cumulative growth in amount of registered users on Cardsphere.
It's been fairly consistent and we believe we'll see 10k before we close out our first year of operation. Because the chart is cumulative, it's a bit harder to see the spikes and valleys. However, where you can notice a sharp increase, we've usually been able to identify where it came from.
For example, the most recent spike came from a couple of posts on /r/magictcg that stayed on the front page for a few days. Many of you made positive comments about Cardsphere, and we know this is the number one way that we acquire new users. The noticeable increase in early January we attribute to a competitor's admission that their developers and CEO were stepping back from active engagement and operations of their platform.
To make this chart a little more readable than the raw data would have been, we used a 7-day rolling average. This is showing the dollar value of trades.
Right away you notice the valley that Christmas holidays create - there's something of a crash. I'd say this is not a terrible thing because the mail in December and even January was just plain lousy. I am still correcting "lost mail" disputes because cards have come in.
January again shows a sharp increase over the slow steady rise we had been seeing, and we attribute this to an influx of users who already understood the whole concept of peer-to-peer trading with a push mechanic. The users we have adopted in 2018 have become active traders at a much higher rate than users from last year.
Escrow is the money Cardsphere holds separately from users' accounts while packages are in transit.
We're pleased by the consistency of growth here, and as we have commented elsewhere, the escrow amount always seems to hover at around 30-40% of the size of the entire economy (which is $114,034.53 at the time of this writing.)
Overall, we're on track with our expectations for our first year. If we were to have had greater growth than this, it likely would have been more difficult to manage from a customer service and development standpoint. So we're very pleased at how things have unfolded, and feel that we're on the cusp of much more substantial growth.
We are increasing our marketing spending in the most successful ways we've found (streamers, sponsorships, blog articles) and thinking about more ways to get the word out in 2018.
Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
Thanks so much, people. Clearly, there's no way this could have been accomplished without all of you out there pushing cardboard.