Who thought someone can actually shell out $100,000 for digital picture of a cat! The crypto mania has made the world see extremely eccentric unprecedented trends. And now, it’s time for CryptoCollectable一 the digital collectable feline.
The game of Cryptokitties was launched back in November 2017 by a company named Axiom Zen. It is based on Ethereum blockchain where players can buy adorable cats with Ethers (cryptocurrency for Ethereum).
By the end of 2017, Cryptokitties got so popular that it amounted to 12% of the total transactions occurring on the Ethereum network thereby clogging it. As a mitigating measure, the developers of the game had to surge the prices of cryptokitties to control the traffic. An Ethereum dApp never faced so much traffic before; generally, it was only major ICOs which overwhelmed the blockchain network. Nonetheless, this chapter raised serious questions on scalability of Ethereum which promises itself to be “the world computer”.
But nothing stopped the Cryptokitties mania! The most expensive feline, named Genesis, was sold for 246.9 ETH which amounts to about $114,000. Genesis was actually the first cryptocat to come around. The transaction ID for this purchase is: 0xf365be10a326b894cc13ddd3edf55a2db6ec517e1af83741df61fb9b09b37118 (Check it out on Etherscan.io)
The concept of Cryptokitties can be marketed as brilliant convoluted engineering or with how cute these beanie babies look! There is a new cryptokitty generated every 15 minutes by the founder company Axiom Zen which can be purchased by only a single person on the entire planet. This means that the cryptokitty you own is not owned by anyone else on this planet. Your cryptokitty is as unique as you! Axiom Zen will keep generating more cryptokitties until November 2018 after which generation of Gen 0 cats will be capped. Even the players have an option to breed their cryptokitties to reproduce offsprings.
These offsprings intelligently inherit their parent cat’s traits. As a matter of fact, completely new traits can also be observed in the offsprings. There could be a billion traits which uniquely define a cat一 shape of its eyes, its colour, the pattern, colour of eyes, the kind of tail they’d have and what not! These virtual elements which make the cats unique are coded on blockchain and are known as cattributes!
As a result, kitties with prettier and popular traits would sell for a higher price. This throws light on a profound concept of “digital scarcity”. Owning a famous cryptokitty like Genisis can be a status symbol in the cryptoworld. This means a digital good/asset can be rare. Even though Axiom Zen has all copyrights to the looks of the cat, you still own it. You can trade it but not change how it looks or behaves.
Up until now on the Internet, if you have to send someone a file, you’d always send a copy of it. Not the real file. We saw how it took down the music and entertainment industry. However, by switching over to the concept of Web 3.0 and technology of blockchain, piracy of content is almost impossible! If you have to send over your kitty to someone, you’d send the real asset. It’d go away from your account and show up in the recipient's account. This means that we are not dealing with “copies”, rather we are dealing with the real digital kitty disappearing from one place and appearing in another. At the end of the day, a Cryptokitty is unique and only one person can have a particular kind of a kitty. Ultimately, this is something human psyche is attracted to一 possessing something unique which no one else has.
The game of Cryptokitties is definitely a fun game to play. From an engineers point of view, creating such games is not too hard; all you need to look for is something that attracts most people. As a player, you don’t need a lot of money to start with. You can start with a less expensive Cryptokitty and make your way up to the top!
In future when history of dApps would be written in some book, I’m sure Cryptokitties would certainly be there. It was marked a significant point in the history of blockchain gaming!