The year of 2017 has had its fair share of crazy Internet trends. From the Salt Bae meme earlier in January, to the Baby Shark dance phenomenon; 2017 has now given us CryptoKitties.
So what in the world is this new craze that seemed to explode overnight that are causing people to splurge big bucks on a digital cat in a game?
CryptoKitties is basically the cute, adorable version of Bitcoin. It is one of the world’s first blockchain games. The game involves buying and selling digital cats using cryptocurrency on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning they are worth actual money (and a lot of it too!)
Coming from the generation of Tamagotchis and Neopets, virtual pets aren’t anything new to us. However, CryptoKitties are definitely an advanced version of our favourite childhood digital pet.
CryptoKitties has become so popular since its launch in October 2017 that it is clogging up the blockchain, accounting for nearly 20% of all transactions on the platform and slowing down the entire network dramatically. These kitties can be bought and sold using the cryptocurrency “Ether”. The cheapest starts at $15, and some have sold for more than $100,000.
CryptoKitties’ digital cats are collectible, tradeable and breed-able. CryptoKitties are really just bits of code (“Cattributes”) on the blockchain. Two bits of code can be combined (or “bred”) to form a new and unique bit of code, which creates a new one-of-a-kind genetic kitty. This code gives them defining visual characteristics, which may make them more or less valuable. The more attractive the Cattributes, the more they are worth.
A “dame” (female) & a “sire” (male) are bred together to create a new CryptoKitty
According to their official FAQ page, the Axiom Zen studio which started the game released hundreds of CryptoKitties on initial launch. Until November 2018, a new CryptoKitty is released approximately every 15 minutes (called parentless Kitties “Gen 0”).
Once all the “Gen 0” Kitties are gone, the only way to get a new CryptoKitty is to breed two together or to buy one from another user on the marketplace.
The CryptoKitties marketplace
However, through breeding, there are a nearly unlimited possible number of possible CryptoKitties that can be created.
Are you ready to adopt a kitty of your own?