The Cryptokitties game seems to be taking over transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. It is estimated that this game currently makes up 4% of all Ethereum transactions globally.
The Cryptokitties game was launched just a few days ago on the 28th of November and it is already ranking as the second most popular application of the Ethereum network. Players of this game acquire several of these cartoon cats with each having their own unique attributes or “cattitudes”.
These unique attitudes of each cat/kitten character are coded into a virtual genome. This goes to determine the physical attributes of each cat as well as their phenotypes in correspondence with their genetic code or genotype. The game has been built around the basic understanding of Biology with a specific focus on the topic of heredity. The game allows users to “breed” different kitties together so as to eventually produce new cats with rare and unique features. The genetic codes have been engineered so much so that about four billion possible outcomes and combinations can be realized through breeding.
Similar to how we purchase virtual items such as swords, armor et al in online games, rare kitties that emanate as a result of breeding can be traded for real money, with some kitties being sold for as high as $5,000 per cat. The interesting thing about these kitties is that that they last forever even if the game shuts down – how is this possible? This is because these kitties as a matter of fact are discrete tokens that exist on the Ethereum network. This means that even if the game and its creators disappear, players will still have the value of their kitties secured on the Ethereum blockchain.
A Technical Architect with the game’s development team, Dieter Shirley insists that “the cryptokitties economy is entirely decentralized and impossible for the development team to manipulate. Anyone on the team with knowledge of breeding algorithm is prohibited from playing.”
The game’s Marketing Director, Elsa Wilk stated that “our approach to brand and marketing is, in part, a tongue-in-cheek critique of the ICO market today.”