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Cryptokitties: The Popular Cryptocurrency Game

December 25th 2017

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based applications have become ubiquitous in the public scene. Gone are the days when only hobbyists and enthusiasts were interested in the market, now it seems a lot of people want in on the action. As a result, a plethora of applications offering a multitude of service solutions in diverse areas of human life has emerged over the years.

The gaming industry isn’t left out in this cryptocurrency revolution and Cryptokitties; one of the more exciting crypto-based games on the market is the subject of this particular article. Such is the extent of the popularity of the game that it has even caused network disruptions on the Ethereum blockchain. There have also been tremendous sales recorded within the game and all of this has happened within a short period of time. This article will attempt to present all the relevant information concerning the game, Cryptokitties.

What is Cryptokitties and Who Developed it?

Cryptokitties is a game that allows players to collect, breed, and “hodl” cats (digital kitties) using smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain. The game was launched on Thanksgiving Day, 2017 and has become a big sensation with its popularity rising rapidly every day. The digital cats are generated by means of codes on the Ethereum network. Every cat in the game is unique and lasts perpetually just like a cryptocurrency.

The game was developed by Axiom Zen, a tech company based in Canada. According to the company, a large part of the motivation behind the creation of the game was to introduce a fun way for people to learn about blockchain technology and smart contracts.

How do you play Cryptokitties?

In order to be able to play Cryptokitties, there are some basic requirements that every player needs. These are as follows:

1. Computer

You’ll need a computer or a laptop that has Chrome or Firebox browser installed on it. The reason for this is so that you can use the web-based wallet service.

2. MetaMask

MetaMask is a digital wallet for the Ethereum cryptocurrency that works as a browser extension.

3. Ether

The game isn’t free and the in-game currency is Ether which is the native currency of the Ethereum Blockchain.

Once all of these requirements have been met, an individual can begin playing the game.

Preliminary Steps

  • Install the MetaMask extension on your chrome or Firefox browser and save the seed phrase.
  • Transfer a quantity of the Ether you own from your main wallet to your MetaMask wallet.
  • Login to MetaMask and navigate to the Cryptokitties marketplace where all the kitty sales are displayed.

How to Buy and Sell Cryptokitties

The buying process is quite straightforward, all you have to do is examine the marketplace and look for a kitty to buy. Apart from the kitties for sale on display, players also have the option of buying ‘Gen 0’ kitties. These particular types of kitties are released every quarter hour. This release of new Gen 0 kitties every quarter hour will continue up until November 2018.

Breeding Cryptokitties

The breeding feature is another way to obtain Cryptokitties. It involves breeding two kitties together to create a new kitty. The two kitties can be from the ones owned by a player or alternatively, a player can breed a kitty they own with another from the siring section. The breeding requires Ether in order to process the transaction. The following is a simplified description of a typical Cryptokitties breeding.

  1. Navigate to the “My Kitties” section of the game dashboard.
  2. Select one kitty as the “sire” (father)
  3. Click the “breed button”
  4. Select another kitty as the “dame” (mother)
  5. Confirm the transaction to finalize the breeding process.

After a period of time, the newly bred kitty will appear in the “My Kitties” section of the player’s game dashboard. This newly bred kitty can be kept or offered up for sale at a price in the marketplace.

Miscellaneous Information

The kitties all have unique genes which are in the form of code known in the game as “cattributes.” The genome of each kitty in the game is basically a 256-bit encryption number which provides the information that determines the physical cattributes of the kitty. Sometimes, the kitty that is created as a result of the breeding process shares some common attributes with the parent kitties (sire and mother). Some other times, the newly bred kitty can differ completely from the parent kitties.

The system is completely randomized. There is no scripted or fixed algorithm that governs the price of the cats. Gamers decide how much to sell a kitty based on the dynamics of the marketplace. At certain times, some traits become more coveted than others which then increases the demand for the cats that have these attributes.

Final Words

The success enjoyed so far by Cryptokitties has alerted many to the potential for growth in the cryptocollectibles market. It plays right into the same attraction pool as things such as Pokémon cards and Tamagotchi which were quite popular years ago. There is also the additional benefit of getting more people involved in the cryptocurrency scene which is likely to go a long way in improving the acceptance level of the technology in the mainstream society.

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