- Free to try
- Complete daily quests
- Earn crypto & trade card NFTs
- Runs on HIVE blockchain
Created in 2017, CryptoKitties is one of the world's first blockchain games built on Ethereum, and once accounted for 25% of all volume traded on the blockchain. The game is centered on collecting virtual cats. You can buy, sell and breed Kitties, each defined by its own rare attributes.
With an estimated 1.5 million users, CryptoKitties has made some headlines and set precedents in blockchain gaming — and it's still rolling hard today.
CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based breeding game, built on Ethereum. There aren't any quests or playable modes with this game; you play to collect digital cats, trade with other collectors and you can breed your male and female cats together to create new generations.
The first-ever CryptoKitty was created in December 2017. At its launch, first-generation Kitties were "born" every 15 minutes and no more than 50,000 would ever be created. These CryptoKitties are referred to as Generation-0 and are considered the rarest and most valuable of the virtual cats.
However, developers started a breeding option as a new way to create CryptoKitties. Players can take a female Kitty (Dame) and a male Kitty (Sire) and put them together to breed for a fee.
CrytoKitties are nonfungible tokens (NFTs), which are one-of-a-kind digital assets that when traded could mean a loss or gain in value. NFTs are publicly verifiable on a blockchain, allowing owners to prove ownership through cryptographic signatures.
Purchased with ETH, each CryptoKitty is unique and can't be replicated, creating scarcity and increasing the value of especially rare and fancy CryptoKitties. At the time of writing, around 2,000,000 CryptoKitties exist.
Playing CryptoKitties revolves around collecting, buying, selling and breeding your cats.
To play CryptoKitties, you need to buy ETH to get started.
As a web-based game, you're required to use a Web 3.0 digital cryptocurrency wallet. These often come in the form of an extension for your web browser. CryptoKitties recommends using MetaMask, but it supports most digital wallets. Use our MetaMask guide for an easy installation.
Once your wallet is ready and you have it funded with ETH, head over to the CryptoKitties website to get started.
If you have a male and female Kitty, you can breed them together when you access your Litter. There is also a flat fee of 0.008 ETH for breeding.
If you only have one Kitty and want to breed it, follow these steps:
The cooldown characteristic is the time a cat needs between breeding periods. Every Kitty is born with its own cooldown period which depends solely on its generation. The lower the generation, the lower its cooldown period. However, every time a cat breeds, its cooldown period gets longer.
During breeding, Dames (mothers) get to keep the newly born CryptoKitty, so if you have a Sire (father), you won't get anything. However, if you have a rare Sire, you might be able to charge a siring fee for breeding with it.
CryptoKitties doesn't have its own, unique native token. You need ETH to buy and sell the game's NFTs on the CryptoKitties marketplace.
Playing CryptoKitties requires ETH, and luckily, ETH is one of the most common cryptocurrencies out there. It's available on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges such as Crypto.com, Gemini, Binance.us, and FTX.us.
To buy crypto from an exchange, you'll need to create an account with an exchange, verify your identity and complete know your customer (KYC) requirements, then deposit funds to purchase you're desired cryptocurrency. Or if you own another cryptocurrency, you can swap it for ETH.
We've listed a top exchange to buy ETH.
It looks like ETH may not be available to purchase on an exchange in the US.
You can still purchase ETH by using a decentralized exchange (DEX) instead. Decentralized exchanges are web applications that run on blockchains like Ethereum and allow users to trade any asset directly with one another.
Decentralized exchanges (DEX) are unregulated and run using autonomous pieces of code known as smart contracts. To use a DEX you must interact with the blockchain directly, which is not recommended for novice users. Please learn about decentralized exchanges first if you're unfamiliar.
You can follow the same process when you want to sell your tokens, or come back to this page to see if they can now be traded on an exchange in the US.
Earning with CryptoKitties is primarily done by breeding and selling cats. CryptoKitties notes that this game is first and foremost a collector's game, and warns players to have realistic expectations stating that this game is "not an investment portfolio or get-rich-quick opportunity."
CryptoKitties highlights three ways players can earn:
The Kitties are the CryptoKitties NFTs.
To browse the Kitties for sale, head to the marketplace accessible on the CryptoKitties main site. Prices vary depending on the unique set of Cattributes each Kitty has, its rarity, utility, and appearance. Some secondary NFT marketplaces also feature CryptoKitties, such as OpenSea.
CryptoKitties are sorted into four rarities: Normal, Fancy, Special Edition, and Exclusive. The cats are also sorted by generations created through breeding.
It all started with 2 Generation-0 Kitties that bred and produced a Generation-1. Most recently, Generation-16 Dames and Generation-16 Sires were bred to create the latest Generation-17 CryptoKitties.
The technology behind CryptoKitties' unique attributes is called the Genetic Algorithm. These algorithms are implemented through smart contracts built on the Ethereum blockchain.
When breeding new CryptoKitties, the algorithm generates a new binary number code (mixed 1s and 0s) that determines the new cat's attributes — from their eye color and facial expression to their fur patterns.
Similar to real-world genetics, the newly created Kitties have similar features to their parents, along with a few changes. The rarer the Kitty, the more valuable the breeding can be later on.
To buy an NFT kitty, you need to create a CryptoKitties account.
Next, under Search on the top navigation bar of the site select For Sale. When you find a Kitty you like, click on the image to see its Cattributes. Below the Name of the owner section, click the Make offer button.
The details of transaction fees and the estimated total cost pop up in a separate window. You can make an offer on any Kitty — even if it's not for sale. The owner has three days to accept or decline your offer.
The offer amount is held in escrow for one day and developers take a 3.75% fee. Expired offers don't incur a fee.
The cheapest Kitties start at 0.005 ETH, or around $12, at the time of writing. For the more valuable Kitties, prices can range from 100 to 1,000 ETH (equivalent to hundreds or thousands of dollars).
Or, you can head to a secondary marketplace and browse Kitties there, like OpenSea.
To sell one of your cats, go to your Litter and choose the Kitty you want to sell. You'll see options for Sell and Breed.
Select Sell and you're redirected to a page to create an auction. You select the starting price, ending price and the duration of the auction.
Selecting Breed lets you set up your Kitty for a Siring auction, where other players can use your Kitty to breed on the Sire market. Some users let players use their Kitties for free, but charging a fee is an option if a Kitty is especially rare.
Dapper Labs is the Candian studio behind CryptoKitties, known as the first-ever application built on blockchain technology — but this isn't the only major project Dapper Labs is responsible for.
Dapper Labs also created the NFT marketplace NBA Top Shot, an officially-licensed NFT marketplace featuring NBA "moments" (video clips of historic moments in basketball history). Dapper Labs also created the Flow blockchain, and another blockchain app called Cheeze Wizards, a "blockchain battle royale with cheese."
Roham Gharegozlou is the CEO and co-founder of Dapper Labs. He's currently on Fortune's 40 Under 40 list at age 32. Gharegozlou is also the former CEO of Axiom Zen, a venture studio that created ZenHub, Routific, Timeline and other startups.
CryptoKitties has been out since 2017, so development has slowed down significantly. However, the roadmap notes that there's a campaign with a "world-renown" band in the works, but offers no other information. It lists a teaser image, but that's it.Image source: CryptoKitties
CryptoKitties is a pioneering game for the cryptocurrency sector. The developers took blockchain tokens to the next level by making a game out of collecting virtual cats.
The blockchain provides a breeding ground for owning a digital asset that's unique and attractive. It's easy to understand why it congested the Ethereum network when it first appeared.
Although it lost some of its original popularity, it spearheaded the NFT movement and remains attractive for people interested in collecting one-of-a-kind digital assets.
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