What are Cryptokitties?

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Nowadays, everyone seems to be talking about cryptocurrencies. A trend that recently came to out attention is Cryptokitties. What are they and what good are they?

Cryptokitties is a decentralized application that was released on November 28th 2017. It’s built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what a blockchain is, it’s a decentralized ledger which is the base for many cryptocurrencies like Ether and Bitcoin. In addition to being used for financial transactions, many other applications like Crypokitties can be built on top of it.

Crypokitties is a lot like Pokemon breeding. You can buy cats, then you can breed them. If people like the traits of your cats, you can sell them at a profit. Just like with dogs, cattle or other pedigree animals in the real world, if people don’t want to buy your cat, you can lease it to them to stud. All of this is done on the blockchain so your virtual cats remain yours and nobody can tamper with them.

The crypto-cats are gender-fluid and can play either as “dame” or “sire” when bred together. The cats unique DNA can lead to over four billion possible genetic variations. At the time of writing, according to Kittysales, the median sale price of a Cryptokitty is about $21.86.

As of 7th Dec 2017, there have been sales totaling approximately 8 million USD. The top valued cat is worth about $108,000. Cryptokitty is an innovative way to introduce cryptocurrencies to a broader audience. Since it’s launch 10 days ago, Cryptokitties accounted for approximately 12.8% of transactions on the Ethereum network.

So far, you need to purchase Ether(the Ethereum cryptocurrency) to get a Cryptokitty. The easiest way to get started is by installing a Chrome extension called Metamask, which acts a digital wallet for sending and receiving Ether. Of course, you first need to purchase some Ether from a cryptocurrency exchange.