CryptoKitties: Virtual Cats Take Over

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CryptoKitties officially launched in the last week of November 2017.

 

Just a week later, there have been over 60,000 cat sales, the current equivalent of USD $8 million, and transactions on the CryptoKitties smart contract are in the top few smart contracts by transaction count which basically means that CryptoKitties looks like a hit.

Cryptokitties Virtual Game

But let’s put the brakes on that and retract a bit – what is CryptoKitties and what transactions are we talking about? Let us explain.

 

What is CryptoKitties?

Do you remember playing games on Nintendo or other similar platforms where you get to take care of pets, feed them, wash them, talk them out for walks etc. Well, that’s kind of what CryptoKitties is all about, although for now CryptoKitties remains a game for breeding and collecting cats – so the feeding, washing and walking is not on the books just as yet.

The game also has a marketplace for the buying and selling of cats as well as the lending of cats for the game (breeding). And if you’re asking what’s so special about this game apart from it making so much money in so little time, the answer is simple: not only can you enjoy breeding cats, but you also get to sell them in exchange for Ether, which you can then convert into fiat currency – basically you can have fun and earn money at the same time.

what is cryptokitties.

How do you play CryptoKitties?

It all starts with purchasing your very first virtual kitty but there are some other key points you need to know about this game? Here they are:

  1. Virtual cats are bought in exchange for Ether.
  2. The cats you buy will be unique and possess various virtual traits.
  3. Some kittens will be rare and hence seen to be more valuable than others.
  4. Kittens cannot be duplicated.
  5. When possessing two or more cats, you can breed them, or breed with cats in the marketplace, and introduce the new kittens to the world.
  6. You can buy or sell cats in the market place

breeding cryptokitties

 

What’s the point of the game?

Ok, so you’ve understood pretty much what the game’s all about – but you might also be asking yourself, so what? I can’t even feed, wash or walk my cat, so what’s the point of this game anyway? The fun is in the ongoing process of breeding kittens, selling or trading them, earning Ether in exchange which you can later transfer into fiat currency.

And who knows … maybe the game will continue evolving into something more but at the moment, what’s really outstanding and noteworthy, is what this game is achieving – the ability to break that barrier between people and the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

The game has not only increased the number of transactions on the Ethereum network, but it also seems to be encouraging your average everyday person to learn more about cryptocurrency through its fun concept. In fact, many have just bought Ether for the very first time, just to play this game.

Fun Fact: One of the most expensive cats has been sold for more than $100,000!

Asset trading

CryptoKitties isn’t the first game on Ethereum to offer blockchain-based asset trading.  CryptoPunks by LarvaLabs has an estimated market cap of USD$1million for the 10,000 CryptoPunks.  Decentraland are currently selling LAND.

CryptoKitties Takeaways

So, from a company building a revolutionary Virtual Gaming Platform, Virt-U, here are our key takeaways:

  1. CryptoKitties is a great example of the power of marketplace trading built on top of blockchain.  This is how you could explain trading to a grandparent for instance.
  2. The game stretches the current infrastructure, which in the short term will need changes to the game, including raising costs, and in the long term improvements to the infrastructure by the Ethereum community.
  3. Assets are non-fungible, meaning each cat is unique.  They are stored as ERC721 non-fungible tokens (ERC721 is a proposed standard in development) rather than fungible ERC20 tokens.
  4. Revenue is raised from selling cats (Generation 0 in the first year), and from a percentage of each trade (3.75%) in the marketplace.
  5. The ability to run on a mobile is key.  CryptoKitties is predominantly limited to the desktop.  Trading can be a short activity and we expect the game to take off further once mobile is supported.  As a dApp, it should be able to run via the browser on the Toshi messaging app (also with Status.im once mainnet) or to be converted into a bot.
  6. Blockchain is complex for many users.  For widespread adoption, blockchain needs to be abstracted as much as possible for the average user.

What does this mean for Virt-U?

Virt-U is the economic platform for Virtual Worlds.

We believe that every game should have access to an economy for the creation and trading of virtual assets.  CryptoKitties shows what a powerful offering Virt-U is for every game.  For gamers it unlocks value in the assets that they obtain and create, and provides a fun and engaging addition to their game.  For developers it provides additional revenue from the sale of assets and from a percentage of each trade.

virt-u network token virtual gaming platform

We believe in abstracting the blockchain as much as possible for the average gamer.  Reading through the social media channels and seeing the issues that people are experiencing only enforces this belief.

We also believe that mobile is key for use of the Virt-U Network.

On the technical side

We want assets to be supported in all wallets.  Given the existing support for ERC20 tokens we currently tokenise assets as ERC20 tokens.  This means that assets are fungible except where we have a quantity of 1.  It also allows for native support of shared ownership.

We are following the ERC721 standard proposal with interest, as we see the potential for non-fungible assets and we want all wallets to support a standards based asset token.

Finally

We hope we’ve managed to help you understand the concepts behind CryptoKitties better and the benefits an economy brings to games for both gamers and developers. Let us know what you think about this game, and your experience playing it if you’ve already got kitties!

 

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