If you think it’s a riddle, you’re sorely mistaken. But what do cats and cryptocurrency have in common? Well, to start the Internet’s obsession with cute felines is second to none and they’re one of the most popular memes you’ll find online. Similar in popularity is the world’s current fascination with cryptocurrency. These two wildly popular crazes merge in the form of CryptoKitties, the world’s first game to be built on blockchain technology. That’s right, the same breakthrough technology that has allowed cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to flourish is used to facilitate the trade of CryptoKitties.
What Are CryptoKitties?
Generated by code, CryptoKitties can be described as cryptocollectibles that you can buy, sell or trade. So it’s not like Bitcoin betting, but with cats, it’s a whole new world of fun. To be clear, CryptoKitties are not a form of digital currency. They are bred by spending Ether tokens on smart contracts that use two base cats to create a brand new one.
Each new kitty is unique and recorded on Ethereum’s public ledger which means that you can be secure in the knowledge that blockchain will track ownership securely. Each feline is completely and adorably unique. When two CryptoKitties breed, their offspring’s attributes and appearance are determined by each parent’s 256-bit genome and a good measure of chance. This means that there are 4 billion possible genetic variations that can occur. They cannot be replicated, destroyed or taken away.
The Team behind This Feline Frenzy
Founded in Vancouver Canada in 2017, CryptoKitties was created by Axiom Zen. Its team comprises of over a dozen crypto-enthusiast, start-up founders and award-winning developers. It was created to make blockchain technology more accessible to everyday consumers, giving them a fun and approachable way to explore digital scarcity and implement a non-exchangeable token within smart contracts ER#721.
A Fun Way to Access Blockchain Technology
There’s no doubt that this game is super accessible to those unfamiliar with blockchain technology. For the uninitiated, understanding blockchain technology means grappling with a concept that will most likely leave them slack jawed with their eyes glazed over, flitting in and out of consciousness. Learning about Ethereum, smart contracts and ICOs can be incredibly dull and dreary – this is what CryptoKitties aims to change. Ethereum is the second largest cryprocurrency and can most simply be described as a distributed computing platform based on a public ledger. With this game, users learn how to bread and trade digital kitties using smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. Despite the cryptocurrency landscape becoming increasingly volatile in recent months, CryptoKitties have reportedly hit total sales of $12 million at the end of 2017. Similarly to Ethereum and Bitcoin, CryptoKitties have allowed speculators to make a lot of money, provided they got in at the right time. There have even been reports of certain cats with rare attributes that have been sold for upwards of $80 000.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
If you’re a newbie and want to learn more about blockchain technology and how Ethereum smart contracts work, you’ll need the following before you get started with CryptoKitties:
- A computer or laptop that runs the desktop version of Firefox or Chrome.
- A digital wallet called MetaMask that is used specifically with web apps.
- Ether, a form of digital payment that powers CryptoKitties.
Try the game out for yourself and find out exactly how the internet’s two favourite things (cats and cryptocurrency) merge to create a fun and accessible gaming experience that lets you understand blockchain technology better.