The blockchain world has witnessed the incredible success story of one of its projects called CryptoKitties, where people could buy, breed and trade virtual cats. But you probably know this and are wondering, what is this project and how does it work? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
What are CryptoKitties?
CryptoKitties was created by Canadian startup Axiom Zen in December 2017. Axiom Zen has been doing a lot of different things, from software development to virtual reality. However, it was the CryptoKitties project that was one of their most successful!
The founder of the company wanted to create an Etherium-based game that would allow anyone in the world to get a virtual cat using a smart contract. Each code created is unique, which includes colorful fur, eyes and hair!
CryptoCats also have different genders, where their names are taken from a female or male horse! The male gender is called Sire and the female gender is called Dame!
Picture this in the form of human DNA. Every person on earth has unique DNA that can never be the same as another. The same applies to virtual cats. The technology that can accomplish such a thing is called the Genetic Algorithm. We will talk about it a little later.
Even though CryptoKitties is called a game, you can’t do anything with your pets except buy, breed and sell them.
Some cats are much rarer than others and can be sold for huge amounts of money. In some cases, people have paid up to $100,000 for one cat!
Are CryptoKitties Cryptocurrency?
People often compare the content of CryptoKitties to owning some cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or LightCoin. However, this is not true at all! CryptoKitties have no offline value, they cannot be exchanged for digital tokens or coins in cryptocurrency exchanges. However, people are still willing to pay money for them because Crypto Kitties are ‘blockchain assets’.
CryptoKitties are created on the Ethereum blockchain and are a kind of ERC-721 tokens. ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comments. There are many variations of ERC, however, the most popular token is ERC-20. However, ERC-20 tokens do not differ from each other, which means they are interchangeable.
An example of an interchangeable asset from the real world would be the US dollar. If you lend someone your $20 bill, you will most likely get a different bill back. This will not mean that you will get less or more, as the bills have the same value and can be interchanged.
ERC-721 tokens do not have this capability. This means that each token is unique and can be individually defined. Think of it like owning a piece of land. There are many plots of land in the world, but your plot of land is unique! This is the same way Crypto Kitties work!
Where did CryptoKitties come from?
The first CryptoCats were born in December 2017. From that moment, a new cat was created by the Ethereum blockchain every 15 minutes, which lasted until November 2018. These Crypto Kitties were called “Generation-0” kitties and there were 50,000 in total.
CryptoKitties can be created in other ways, though! You remember how we talked about the different genders of digital cats, right? Well, just like real cats, CryptoKitties can be bred to create new ones!
The easiest way to breed would be if you have both Sire (male) and Dame (female) cats. However, if you only have one of them, you can ask someone to help you!
Let’s say you have Sire (male) CryptoKittens and you want to start breeding them. You would need to find someone who has a Dame (female) digital cat and only then can you start the breeding process!
It is important to note that only the owner of Dame (female) will get a newborn CryptoKittie! However, if you have a Sire (male), you can still receive money by charging a fee to the owner of the Dame (female), which is called the “Siring Fee”! Unlike “Generation-0” CryptoKittens, which were created by developers, there are no restrictions on breeding kittens!
When new CryptoKittens are born, they inherit some attributes of their parents. What’s interesting is that the developers call them “Kitten Attributes”! Again, everything makes sense here. A child can inherit his mother’s black hair and his father’s crooked nose.
However, the child can have some unique features, like really big feet! The same can happen with CryptoKitty, as they are randomly generated! Don’t forget that the rarer the features, the more value he has!
So, now you know where it all started. Now it’s time to move on to the CryptoKitty trading floor!
You remember how we mentioned that Crypto Kitties are blockchain assets, right? Well, that means that you can buy, trade and sell them on an open trading floor!
For starters, Generation-0 Kitties are considered the most valuable because they are a limited number. They were originally owned by the developers of the platform, so when they sold them, they took all the profits. In addition, the developers also make a 3.75% profit on every “non-Generation-0” transaction that takes place on the trading floor.
In any case, the trading floor is very similar to eBay in that you can see a long list of CryptoKitties available for purchase. The currency for purchase is Ether (ETH). Each CryptoKitty will be priced differently and the price will depend on its rarity.
Once you decide to buy one, the CryptoKitty token will be automatically sent to your ERC-271 wallet, so there should be no difficulty here. If you want to sell your CryptoKitty, you have to decide what price you want to sell them for. Once someone buys your digital cat, then ETH will be sent directly to your wallet!
Note: The CryptoKitty platform uses a MetaMask wallet, which you will need to install. We will cover this in another section of our guide.
Since there are currently thousands of CryptoKitties for sale, you can filter the results. For example, you can select a specific age, generation number or value!
The CryptoKitties trading platform gained incredible success in December 2017. In its first week of operation, more than 60,000 people registered on it, and sales totaled $5 million dollars! A week later, that number had increased to 150,000 users and $15 million in CryptoKitties equivalent!
It is important to understand that every time you buy, sell or exchange CryptoKitty, you will need to pay a transaction fee on the Etherium blockchain.
The basic technology that makes every digital cat unique is the Genetic Algorithm. The terminology can be quite difficult to understand, so let’s try to understand it with an example!
You may remember us talking about the unique characteristics of human DNA, which is responsible for how your body works. Your DNA completely conditions your appearance, like straight hair, height, skin color, etc.
In the world of CryptoKitties, the Genetic Algorithm determines your background color, facial expression, stripes on your fur, and the pattern on it!
In the human body, DNA is made up of many proteins that are linked together in a special way. However, the Genetic Algorithm uses numbers instead! When a person is born with a 50/50 difference between father and mother, the parents’ genes are mixed.
When we talk about the Genetic Algorithm, this is called crossover (crossing over). Let’s take a look at the example below.
- Human mother’s DNA crossed with father’s genes = baby’s DNA
- CryptoCat DNA 01011101 (unique Dame number) crossed with 011110010 (unique Sire number) = 010110010 (unique CryptoCat newborn number)
As you can see in the example above, the numbers used to generate unique CryptoKitties are binary, they represent 0 and 1. Also, two sets of numbers can never be the same, which ensures the uniqueness of the born cat! Don’t forget that new CryptoKitties will have similar features to their parents and some differences. The most valuable digital cat will appear when breeding a rare Dame and a rare Sire!
All of the above codes are generated using the Etherium smart contract, which means the process is automated. For example, when you decide to breed Kitty, the individual Dame and Sire binary codes will be sent to the blockchain and the smart contract will return a new code, which will be the new Crypto Kitty.
Each CryptoKitty smartcontract resides in a decentralized application called a dApp. The CryptoKitties platform is one of the most successful dApps of all time and allows the Genetic Algorithm to convert into cute kitties! Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
How to Play CryptoKitties?
Buy some Ethereum
Before you have CryptoKittens, you have to buy some Ether (ETH). The easiest way to do this is Coinbase, as on this site you can buy it with a bank card or an account.
Once you buy some ETH, you will need to install a virtual wallet called MetaMask. It is a wallet that is compatible with the CryptoKitties platform and will allow you to buy, breed, and sell cats.
MetaMask Wallet is easy to use and you can even install it as an extension for your Google Chrome browser! Once you set up MetaMask, then transfer your ETH to it.
Create a CryptoKitties account
- You have a MetaMask wallet with ETH, now you need to visit the CryptoKitties website and create an account.
- First, enter your email address and choose a username. As you can see in the image below, your MetaMask wallet address will be added automatically.
4. Next, the MetaMask pop-up window will appear, asking you to sign in to CryptoKitties. Click Sign In.
5. Now you should get to the CryptoKittens platform, which will mean successful account creation!
How to buy CryptoKitties
If you have followed all the steps, you will have ETH in your wallet. Now is the time to buy yourself a pet!
- At the top of the page click on “Marketplace”.
2. As you can see in the image below, at that time there were 140,000 unique CryptoKitties. That’s a lot!
3. If you click the “Filter” button, you can select the type of CryptoKitty you want to buy.
4. The most expensive CryptoKitty will cost you 100,000 ETH! As of 2018, that would be worth over $60 million! That hardly works for us, so let’s buy something more affordable.
5. We like the look of cat 702165, which costs 0.002 ETH. We click on its image.
6. Now you need to click on the orange “Buy Now” button!
7. Before the transaction is complete, you will need to confirm the amount. After that, click OK and buy the kitty.
8. After that, a MetaMask pop-up window will appear showing your transaction details, along with the GAS commission. Finally, click “Confirm” to complete your transaction.
That’s it, you just bought your CryptoKitty! As soon as the Etherium blockchain performs the transaction (which shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes) the token will start appearing in your MetaMask wallet! How to breed CryptoKitties
Now you know how to buy Crypto Kitties, so it’s time to move on to breeding!
It’s very important to remember that only the owner of the Dame (mother) will get a new Crypto Kitty, so if you bought a Sire (father), you won’t get anything. However, some people charge for their services if you get a rare Sire!
You remember when we mentioned Generation-0 as the most expensive, right? Well, if you breed Generation-0 SEALs, you get a Generation-1 CryptoKitty.
In another example, if Dame Generation-2 is bred with Sire Generation-4, you get CryptoKitty Generation-6! The smaller the “Generation” (generation), the more expensive the Siring commission will be!
- At the top of the screen, click on the search box.
- Just below the search box, check the box next to Siring.
- Sometimes you can find a Sire who will be happy to do the breeding for free. Choose a Sire you like and click on his image. I like the look of Kitty 5144811.
- Then, click on the pink “Breed Now” button.
5. You will now need to select a Dame for breeding. Click on “Select a Kitty” to complete the process. As soon as you complete the transaction, a new CryptoKitty token will be sent to your MetaMask wallet!
We hope you enjoyed the Crypto Kitties guide! After all, it’s incredible how seriously this project has grown in such a short time!
So, what do you think about the CryptoKitties project? Are you going to buy your CryptoKitty? If so, what kind of kitty are you looking for? It will all depend on the amount of money available to you here. Dame Generation-0 will always be more expensive since they are a limited quantity!
If you’ve read our guide from beginning to end, you now understand the workings of the Genetic Algorithm. It is an incredible technology that replicates the workings of our DNA!
Finally, now you know how to buy Crypto Kitties on their platform. Share them in the comments so we can look at them together!
Well, there you have it. That’s the end of our guide to the most popular platform, CryptoKitties!