4 - 8 minute read
CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game that allows players to collect, trade, and breed virtual cats. Launched in 2017, it is considered one of the world’s first-ever blockchain games. Each digital collectible cat possesses a unique genome that determines its physical traits. Cats can be bred to create new virtual kittens and unlock rare “cattributes” or in-game cat features. CryptoKitties is also an NFT game, with each unique cat backed by an NFT, making them rare and valuable.
CryptoKitties was built by Dapper Labs, the company that uses blockchain technology to bring nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and new forms of digital engagement to fans around the world. The game caused quite a bit of congestion on the Ethereum blockchain, peaking in 2020. However, the game’s creators were able to address these issues.
Blockchain technology remains at the core of this game, but the unique CryptoKitties gameplay can be credited to its Genetic Algorithm (GA). The GA aims to mimic real genetic principles by structuring the smart contract code of each kitten like the DNA of actual living creatures. Each kitty possesses its own digital genetic pattern, which in turn determines what type of offspring it will produce, in addition to its unique physical traits. This genome is stored in a smart contract, which is self-executing lines of code dependent on predetermined conditions.
CryptoKitties can be sold and traded, and cats with rare traits can fetch high prices. The rarest CryptoKitty of all time is the genesis cat, aptly named “Genesis” because it was the very first CryptoKitty hatched by the game’s creators. Genesis was sold in 2017 for 246.926 Ether (ETH), or around $119,328 at the time of selling. Ether has since appreciated, and so has the genesis cat.
The game’s main premise is that players have to breed and sell their cats, which will allow them to earn ETH, especially for rarer cats. Generation and Cooldown are two crucial features of the game – both are necessary to understand which cats to purchase and breed during the selection process. Generation determines how many generations a kitty is from its original parent. New Generation 0 kitties were released every 15 minutes during the first year of CryptoKitties. These kitties have no offspring yet, so if two Generation 0 kitties breed, they will produce Generation 1 offspring.
Cooldown refers to a kitty’s breeding pace, such that a kitty with a lower cooldown will have a shorter breeding time. Kitties from higher generations will also have high cooldown rates. Both Generation and Cooldown affect the price of CryptoKitties, as these will determine how desirable they are on the market.
Those looking to explore CryptoKitties gameplay on mobile can do so through an HTC mobile phone, which exclusively carries the United States mobile app of CryptoKitties. Technically, however, players looking for information on how to play CryptoKitties on Android or iOS devices can simply access the mobile version of the website through a mobile browser. However, serious players looking for a dedicated app can currently only do so via an HTC phone.
To get started with CryptoKitties, players must first have an existing MetaMask wallet or create one. MetaMask will allow users to buy, sell, and breed CryptoKitties. Once a wallet has been created, new users can proceed to the CryptoKitties homepage, where they will be asked to link their MetaMask wallet upon clicking “Start” on the upper right-hand side of the screen. CryptoKitties can be purchased using Ether, which can, in turn, be bought from cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance and Coinbase. Ether can then be transferred to MetaMask to ensure that players have enough funds to purchase their CryptoKitties.
Players can view CryptoKitties for sale through the website or secondary NFT marketplaces like OpenSea. Offers can also be made to other players, allowing others to bid on cats even if they aren’t for sale. The owner can choose to decline or accept the offer. Each offer expires after three days. Prices vary, but kitties may sell for as low as 0.001 ETH or as high as 600 ETH, maybe even more. Factors such as how rare a particular kitty is and how sought-after its cattributes are can affect the price it will fetch in the market.
Once a player has produced new breeds of CryptoKitties, they can be put up for sale or sired to the public. Each kitty in a litter will have “Sell” and “Breed” options, which will lead to auction pages. Players can create a Siring auction by clicking “Breed,” which will put their Kitty up for Siring via the Siring market. “Sell” likewise creates an auction, setting the kitty up for sale on the marketplace. The player can select the starting price, ending price, and auction duration.
The Bottom Line:
CryptoKitties is a unique blockchain-based game that allows players to collect, trade, and breed virtual cats. With each cat backed by an NFT, the game has become a popular platform for digital asset traders. The rarest CryptoKitty of all time is the genesis cat, which was sold in 2017 for 246.926 Ether. While prices for CryptoKitties vary, factors such as how rare a particular kitty is and how sought-after its cattributes are can affect the price it will fetch in the market. As with any digital asset, traders should carefully consider the risks and opportunities associated with CryptoKitties before investing.