The Unofficial CryptoKitties Wiki
The world of blockchain was sent into a frenzy when CryptoKitties took off, attracting thousands of users willing to pay big sums for these unique digital collectibles. But just what are these things, and why are they worth money? We've got a full breakdown of this pioneer in the growing world of crypto collectibles. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
Are CryptoKitties A Cryptocurrency?
While CryptoKitties are purchased using Ethereum and transactions take place on the blockchain, they are not themselves a currency. The main difference between a crypto collectible like CryptoKitties or Factbar and a currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum is that they are non-fungible. Each CryptoKitty is unique, and has its own unique value. You can trade kitties or sell them for Ethereum, but you'll probably have a hard time using CryptoKitties to pay for something else.
How To Play CryptoKitties
Can I Make Money With CryptoKitties?
You can, but it is in no way guaranteed. Players will sometimes pay large sums to purchase or breed with rare kitties, but their value is dependent upon how much cryptocurrency someone is willing to pay for them. While there are a lot of players right now, people online can be very fickle. Unlike other assets like Factbars, these kitties have little use outside of breeding and trading them in-game. CryptoKitties is, at its core, a game, and though you could make money by playing, it's important to realize that the game is built to be played by a lot of people, and not built with the goal of making you money, so you have to be cautious.
How To Breed CryptoKitties
CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game in which players can purchase virtual cats using Ethereum. These cats can then be traded between users and "bred" with one another to create new kitties. Each one is unique, so rare breeds are highly sought after. Millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency has changed hands among those playing the game.
Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. These currencies work like regular money in that they are fungible, meaning every Bitcoin has the same value. But Ethereum can also be used to purchase crypto collectibles, unique digital assets that are non-fungible. No two are the same, so each one has its own value.
CryptoKitties set out to capitalize on this idea and use the Ethereum blockchain to create a fun game. Started in November 2017, CryptoKitties releases collectibles in the form of cats. Every 15 minutes, a new Gen 0 cat is released. Each kitty is unique, and its ownership is verified by the blockchain. If you want to buy someone's kitty, you can do so using Ethereum and a browser extension like MetaMask. Rare kitties have sold for more than $100,000.
Rare kitties have sold for more than $100,000.
But the game isn't limited to the buying and selling of these collectibles. You can "Breed" your kitties with others to create new unique kitties. Users will pay large sums to breed their cats with other rare breeds, and in turn they can either collect or sell the kitties that result. The game has attracted hundreds of thousands of users, and millions of dollars worth of Ethereum has been exchanged.
There are many similar games where players trade everything from puppies to countries. However, the market for these assets is limited to those who play the game. You probably can't sell your kitty to someone who doesn't play, because they won't see the value in it. You also probably won't be interested in buying someone else's kitty unless you plan to participate in the process of breeding and trading cats.
Think of it in terms of a video game like "World of Warcraft." Players will spend thousands of dollars to purchase characters or rare items. Though you could theoretically buy one of these rare items and sell it for a profit even if you don't play the game, usually only those who are invested in the world of the game are willing to do so, since they can play with the items until they sell them. Otherwise, a CryptoKitty just sort of sits there until you can unload it.
Players will spend thousands of dollars to purchase characters or rare items.
This sets games like CryptoKitties apart from other assets, an example of which is Factbar. The assets on Factbar are linked to facts that are researched and verified. You can download videos and images of your Factbars for use on YouTube or on your personal website, borrowing the brand's credibility for whatever you're promoting.
Because Factbars provide information beyond just looking nice, they can be marketed by individuals as well. Users can promote their own Factbars online in order to sell them. With CryptoKitties, while each does look different, they aren't useful enough to be attractive to someone who doesn't play.
After the popularity of CryptoKitties, games like Ether Shrimp Farm appeared. These "Idle games" involved buying a number of shrimp that hatch eggs, increasing a player's holdings over time. These games also reward users for signing up others, earning a bonus of 20% of the number of all the eggs hatched by anyone you get to sign up.
These games also reward users for signing up others, earning a bonus of 20% of the number of all the eggs hatched by anyone you get to sign up.
In May 2018, Ether Shrimp Farm rocketed to the top of DappRadar's rankings. However, an examination of the sudden increase in users revealed that all these new accounts weren't legitimate. A single user had created bots, opening wallet accounts that pretended to be new users, getting the bonuses from referrals and new sign-ups, then consolidating the Ether gained from those transactions. The financial nature of these games means players have to be wary of scams that guarantee income and make false promises.
Another step forward in the realm of games was CryptoCities. Rather than a simple game built around exchanging land, this is a surprisingly complex strategy game that mixes elements of SimCity and board games like Diplomacy. With multiple smart contracts, the game is continually being expanded upon in order to encourage users to keep playing, and is a sign of the type of blockchain-based games that we'll see in the future.
More and more crypto collectibles are available every day. This takes blockchain technology beyond the realm of currency and into the realm of assets, each of which has a unique value. It's unclear where this will lead, and if CryptoKitties will continue to be popular in the future, but for now, it's an addictive and sometimes lucrative game.