Ethereum ‘CryptoKitties’ could become the Beanie Babies of blockchain


• CryptoKitties is a colorful, feline-centric
blockchain game.

• Blockchain-based computing platform Ethereum, which provides the
cryptocurrency ether, introduced the virtual game in late

• Since then, the new digital felines have become
enormously popular, attracting 180,000 users, according to
The New York Times.

Cats probably aren’t the first thing you’d associate with
blockchain. But that’s exactly what the hottest new game in the
digital world is all about.

CryptoKitties is a colorful, cutesy blockchain
game where players can purchase, sell, and breed their own unique
“CryptoKitties.” When you mate your digital pet with another
CryptoKitty — which can be both dames and sires, the website’s
Q&A section advises users
to “ease up on the labels” — you’ll get a kitten with a mix of
their “genes.”

You can either breed your own CryptoKitties together, or pay
another player in order to use their cat as a sire. The game’s
currency is ether, the currency of blockchain-based computing
platform Ethereum.

So far, these virtual cats have proved to be a hot commodity.

cryptokitties 2

Since the game launched on
November 28, The New York Times reported
180,000 players have already signed up, and spent a total of $20
million in ether. CNBC reported the digital cats
have fetched as much as $114,481.59. One anonymous entrepreneur
told The Verge that his performance
on CryptoKitties has allowed him to accrue a “a hypothetical net
gain of $42,321.15.”

That net gain is hypothetical because, as CryptoKitties
cofounder Mack Flavelle told The Times, “Nobody’s even
pretending it’s going to be a transactional currency anymore.
It’s a stored value.” You can’t buy a coffee with ether, but, as
he says, “for a couple bucks now you can get a cat.”

The feline-induced surge in interest has actually caused problems
for Ethereum’s website, Business Insider’s Frank Chaparro

Some people are comparing the current trend to an earlier craze
focused on cuddly-looking collectibles. According to Tech Crunch’s Fitz
, the new game is “reminiscent of the beanie baby trend
where people were paying insane amounts of money for stuffed

Business Insider reported that
when the Beanie Baby bubble of the nineties burst, most
collectors were just fine. But there still isn’t really much of a market for
most of the toys

But for now, Cryptokitties will continue breeding.

“We’re just like, man, people want cats,” Flavelle told The New York Times. “We
thought it would build slowly, take a few months, but it’s been
so fast.”

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