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Digital Kittens take over the Ethereum network

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A cute new game called CryptoKitties has taken over the Ethereum network and the hearts of those who play the game.

The digital currency Ethereum also functions as a network, which runs applications called DApps.

Of course, it only makes sense that the first DApp to gain notoriety would be one where you collect and breed digital cats. This phenomenon is reminiscent of the internet, where people can easily access most of the knowledge of the entire human race, but often use it instead to look at cat memes.

With the popularity of CryptoKitties, the Ethereum network is struggling to deal with the increased volume,which has slowed transaction times. This had far-reaching effects on users of the network. One company, SophiaTX, had to postpone their planned ICO because of the network being too congested by digital cats.

In response to the issues with the network, the developers sent out a Tweet, letting users know they were attempting to resolve it by altering the code slightly.

Right now, sales of the digital kitties surpassed 6 million dollars USD (~$7.6M CAD) and still rising. One fan summed it up well on social media by saying “Finally managed to purchase my first CryptoKittie. Is it bad I wouldn’t even consider paying this amount for a real kitten?”

How to play the game

To start playing the game you need some Ethereum, as well as the Chrome extension MetaMask. You then need to buy your first kittie.

Breeding, though, really is the name of the game, and requires more than one kittie to accomplish. If you breed your kitties, you can resell your kittens for Ethereum.

Rare qualities found in some kittens make them more valuable. The most valuable CryptoKittie sold so far, fetched $145,390 (CAD) worth of Ethereum. The rarity of traits can be found on this chart.

Right now the two rarest traits are googly and mainecoon. If you lucked out and got a kitten with one of these traits, they sell for a small fortune. Having two parents with a trait increases but does not guarantee the kittens will also possess that trait.

There is an element of randomness to the breeding process, sometimes rare traits spawn from parents who possess common traits. So far, only the developers know the exact breeding formula.

Next Gen

Gen is another important trait of the Cryptokitties network. The technology behind Cryptokitties randomly generates a new kitten every 15 minutes. These initial kittens are Gen 0. If two Gen 0 cats breed, they will have a Gen 1 baby. If a Gen 1 and a Gen 5 Kitten have a baby, though, it will be a Gen 6. The Gen number is important because the lower the number, the more frequently your cats can breed.

Users can also rent their cats out for breeding, which is known as ‘siring’.

Besides breeding, however, there is nothing else to do with your CryptoKitties. They cannot be fed or played with, you can’t buy them cute outfits. For now, there are no plans to add any other aspects to the game play.

It will be fun to see how long the hype will last.


Image credit: Cryptokitties


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