Trends come and go – like butterfly clips and mom jeans.
I always here about new trends coming out, and am often more of a skeptic of them than a follower. Recently, however, something caught my eye.
It’s called Cryptokitties.
Ever heard of it?
A few days ago something popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. It was for this new “Cryptokitties” that claimed to essentially be a cryptocurrency game. Their self description on their webpage basically lumps it as a collectible game like Pokemon, Tamagotchis, or Beanie Babies (the last one is their example on their website, but I like to compare it more to Neopets – since they are digital)
The way I saw it was as a fun and easy to understand door into the world of cryptocurrency- you know, Bitcoin and such.
I decided it was worth a shot and used a small amount of money to purchase one of these adorable cartoon kitties – though I admit it was a bit of a pain in the ass to set up. You have to make an account (not so bad), download a Metamask widget on google chrome (only slightly confusing at first if you have never installed something on Chrome), and set up a Coinbase account (the most annoying). If you are looking to try it I suggest setting up the Coinbase account on an app instead of a computer.
The Coinbase account essentially allows you to transfer real dollars (by bank, debit, or credit) into cryptocurrency, or Ethereum. 1 ETH = approximately $487 yesterday, or for smaller scale .1 ETH = $49. I saw a few things about being directly able to use real money in the future, but nothing like that any time soon.
Honestly, for someone who knows nothing about cryptocurrency the past few days have already enlightened me quite a bit, so I don’t mind the Ethereum business. I’ve always wanted to look into it, we hear a lot about Bitcoin these days, but it seemed like a lot to swallow and a little dry.
This new thing? Genius.
It brings in people like me – those who are interested and like cute animals. (I was most definitely a Tamagotchi, Beanie Baby, Pokemon collector)
Anyway, the picture you see was my first Cryptokitty. His/her name is Salomon. I didn’t choose that name, though I had the option to. I liked it because it sounded like a play on words between Salmon (something cats would eat) and Solomon (a name I attach to the wizard in Lord of the Rings). It also had a decent generation of 13 (midrange – the lowest is zero and highest I’ve seen so far is 21) and fair cost.
The point is to purchase, breed, and sell kitties for a profit. The highest on the market right now is a gen2 for 1 MILLION ETH. That’s Ethereum, not dollars. Thats $486100,000. Insane. There are a lot of cheaper ones to get started with I promise. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.
The kitties are more valuable based on their generation (0 being the most valuable currently because there will be a limited amount), traits, and resting time. Every time kitties breed, the new kitty is the next generation and the old kitty gets a slower recuperation time (decreasing its value on the market). The traits depend on a genetic code of the cats, each cat is completely unique. There are also ‘fancy’ ones – like a vampire one. There are a lot of variety of cats and traits to make some interesting/cute/quirky combos and always the possibility of a fancy one. The values seem to fluctuate based where people place the value – what they are willing to pay.
After dabbling a little bit, I like it! The only problem is that it is so congested right now that the servers (if thats what you call them) can’t seem to keep up. The result is a lot of failed transactions and inflated gas prices (transaction prices so to speak). Once the hype settles down and they figure out a way to make things smoother without raising gas prices, I think it’ll work fine, but I didn’t want to wait haha. If the kitties I got and started to breed for such a small price become worth something, well then it was worth it. And I’ve had fun messing around with it.
Besides, who doesn’t love some digital cats?
Anyone else tried this new game/collectible investment or thinking about it??