Launched a few days ago, CryptoKitties is essentially like a digital version of Pokémon cards but based on the Ethereum blockchain. And like most viral sensations that spread in the world of technology, they explode quickly.
Built by AxiomZen, a design studio based in Vancouver and San Francisco, gambling is the latest fashion in the world of cryptocurrency and probably soon technology in general.
People are spending a crazy amount of real money on gambling. Up to now, about $ 1.3 million has been traded, with several kittens being sold for ~ 50 ETH (about $ 23,000). ) and the "genesis" kitten sold for a record of ~ 246 ETH (approximately $ 113,000). This third-party site follows the biggest purchases made to date on the game. And like any good viral sensation, prices increase and fluctuate rapidly. At this time, it will cost you about 0.03 ETH, or $ 12 to buy the cheapest kitten in the game. E
So now we have people using Ether, an asset whose usefulness is undoubtedly tangible – to buy a good whose tangible utility is undeniably nil. Welcome to the Internet in 2017.
In all sincerity, it's a little reminiscent of the baby beanie trend where people were paying crazy money for stuffed animals. But if popularity continues to increase, these people may be able to make a comeback by selling up or raising their rare kittens, or they will be stuck holding virtual cryptographic keys to a virtual kitten when the market is up. crushes in a few days, as finally arrived with baby beanie.
There are some cool stuff about the game, and putting aside the nonsense of valuation, it's actually a cool way for beginners to interact with the Ethereum blockchain .
First of all, it is important to understand that since it is played on the Ethereum blockchain, no central entity manages the game. This means that users literally own their kittens. Unlike the game Neopets where everything was stored in a central database and your pet was deleted when the company was closed, CryptoKitties is decentralized and will live forever on the Ethereum block chain.
The game is managed by a set of 5 Ethereum Smart Contracts written by AxiomZen, and users interact with them via their own Ethereum address. At the present time, the easiest way to do that is to use the Chrome MetaMask extension that gives you the ability to send and receive Ethereum directly into your browser. You then navigate to the CryptoKitties site which is essentially an interface to interact with their smart contracts so you can buy and sell kittens.
Currently, approximately 15% of Ethereum network traffic is dedicated to gaming, making it the most popular smart contract on the network. For reference, the number two with about 8% of network transactions is EtherDelta, the popular decentralized token exchange.
This traffic makes reading CryptoKitties difficult, and many transactions (such as buying and selling cats) take longer than usual to process and need multiple attempts. Not only does this make the game difficult, but this scaling up is a real concern for the Ethereum network in general. If a viral game that has not even spread beyond the world of technology can slow down the network, what happens when the chain of blocks expands to real-world applications?
In short, return to the game. Still confused? US too. Here's an explanation of how it works:
How to play
The game was seeded with 100 "Kitties Foundties". There is also a new "Gen 0" cat released every 15 minutes, which is quoted for the average price of the last five sold, plus 50% – but the selling price goes down over 24 hours until someone # 39; a buys.
And no matter who can sell his kittens via an auction, where they choose a starting price and a final price and the price decreases over time until someone else sells his kittens via an auction, where they choose a starting price and a final price and the price decreases over time until somebody a buys. So, for example, I could put a kitten up for sale for a one-day auction for a ETH start price and 0 ETH end price, and if someone buys it 12 hours later the start of the auctions they would pay me .5 ETH. ]
Kittens can also be created by raising them, which the game calls Siring. You can put your own kitten for the father for a determined amount of ether and someone can reproduce with it, and they get the offspring and you get the ether. Or, you can pay to raise your cat with someone else and you keep the offspring and they keep the ether.
It can take between one hour and a week in "cooldown" to raise a new kitten. The shorter the time the better, since you can sell the offspring earlier and reproduce again. This means that kittens with a shorter recovery time usually sell more.
Each kitten has a 256-bit genome that holds the genetic sequence of all the different combinations that kittens can have. These include things like background color, cooldown, whiskers, beards, stripes and so on. Some of these genes may be recessive, which means that a kitten without lines could reproduce one with scratches.
It is important to note that there is no "rare scale" established by the game that assigns scarcity values to these genetic sequences. This means that the community independently decides what traits are rare by paying a premium for them. For example, kittens with a gold background have sold more than kittens with other colors.
Users can not customize the name of their kitten themselves and often use this space to announce rare attributes such as color or generation.
At the present time, there is no way to see the actual genetic sequence of a kitten on the CryptoKitties site, but as all source code is included in an Ethereum contract No one knows how to read the cat's genetic sequence and make breeding recommendations based on it. There is also a bit of luck, which makes it fun by giving someone with a less rare kitten the chance to reproduce a rare one.
Whenever a cat multiplies the generation increases by one. So, the offspring of a Gen 0 kitten would be a Gen 1, and so on. Earlier generation kittens seem to be selling for more money, both for the intangible rarity factor and the tangible fact that earlier generation kittens generally have shorter chilling times.
Axiom makes money by keeping the ether collected from the sale of the first 100 kittens, plus the new kittens sold every 25 minutes. They also take a 3.75% tax from all auctions or lease transactions. If you sell a kitten by interacting directly with the smart contract (and without going through the CryptoKitties website), you will not pay the 3.75% fee.
What is the future?
Unlike some viral projects, the team behind CryptoKitties was putting on building this product regardless of this hype. Mack Flavelle, the project manager of the game, explained to me that the team had at least a year of product improvements in the pipeline, the most immediate of which is the improvement of the User interface on the web platform.
They also want to work to facilitate the process of integration, because in the end, it is not always easy for an average user to configure MetaMask and know how to buy ether. and use it to perform transactions on the network. .
The project has a white paper here that explains a little more about the future projects of the game.