A decentralized game called CryptoKitties has become the most popular smart contract on the Ethereum network, accounting for over 13% of all ETH transactions. Players can buy or sell digital cats using ETH, and rare collectibles are already changing hands for as much as 246.9255 ETH ($117,712).
CryptoKitties is the world’s first game built on the Ethereum network.
Players can buy or sell digital cats on a marketplace supplied by the game and breed their own unique ‘cryptokitties’. The game uses ether (ETH), Ethereum’s native currency, for all its transactions.
CryptoKitties was launched in closed beta to 200 early access users on November 23. Within hours, the decentralized app (dApp) was already the third most active smart contract on the Ethereum network, accounting for roughly 2% of all ether transactions.
Since being released to the public on November 28, CryptoKitties has gone pretty much viral. Per ETH Gas Station, CryptoKitties is currently the most popular application on the Ethereum network, responsible for over 13% of all ERH transactions.
Most of the game’s appeal comes from its breeding system and the unique offspring that can emerge from it. When two digital cats breed, their offspring’s appearance, biography, and traits result from each parent’s 256-bit genome, leading to 4-billion possible genetic variations.
At press time, a total of 13,737 digital cats have been sold on the marketplace, according to third-party data site kittysales.com.
The Genesis Kitty #1 has changed hands for 246.9255 ETH (a staggering $117,712 at the time of sale).
The game is completely decentralized and each “cryptokitty” is a unique object on the Ethereum blockchain.
Dieter Shirley, CryptoKitties Technical Architect:
“The CryptoKitties economy is entirely decentralized and impossible for the development team to manipulate.”
Dmitry Buterin – founder of BlockGeeks and father of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin – was an early CryptoKitties advocate. Buterin helped design an exclusive CryptoKitty that the game’s community can unlock through breeding.
The project ignored the traditional ICO approach, opting instead for a sustainable revenue model. A small percentage of each marketplace transaction will support the project, though it’s possible for users to avoid this small fee by operating outside of the game’s supported marketplace.
Elsa Wilk, CryptoKitties Marketing Director:
“Our approach to brand and marketing is, in part, a tongue-in-cheek critique of the ICO market today.”
“Blockchain technology could be the biggest technology revolution since the Internet,” says Wilk, “but opportunists, investment froth, and a lack of consideration for everyday consumers is distracting folks from the technology’s long-term potential.”
CryptoKitties is developed by award-winning venture studio Axiom Zen. Specializing in emerging technology, Axiom Zen was named first among Canada’s Most Innovative Companies by Canadian Business. Their products are used by Adobe, Microsoft, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with numerous accolades from Apple and Google.