CryptoKitties – The First Big Blockchain Game

Cryptokitties appeared as the first real-world use case of blockchain besides financial transactions. As the first Etehreum-based NFT collectibles application, Cryptokitties created a simple gameplay allowing players to buy, sell, collect and breed rarer iterations of digital cats. This article is a detailed run-down of the once-most popular NFT game on Ethereum.

CyptoKitties Overview

currencies

ETH logo

supplier

Dapper Labs Inc.
opened quote

What is CryptoKitties?

CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game developed by AxiomZen in 2017 and was the first ETH non-fungible token (NFT) game. Using the ERC-271 token standard, it was the first gamification aspect of the blockchain space where game developers could randomize kitten rarity and create asset scarcity - similar to a card collectibles game. In short, it’s a collect-and-breed game that uses blockchain technology to generate rarer and more valuable felines.
closed quote
cryptokitties game review homepage

How CryptoKitties Is Actually Played

The game is played by buying, breeding, and selling digital cats for a higher price. Players can buy a digital cat from the games marketplace or OpenSea using Ethereum (ETH). Once you have at least one cat, you can start breeding them to create rarer kitties with new attributes by breeding them with one another or by siring them. Cattributes are immutably stored traits in the cat’s smart contract and can determine the rarity and value of each NFT. The game’s goal is to collect or breed rarer and more valuable NFTs, which can then be sold at a much higher price.

The Basic Gaming Rules to Know

The game’s rules are embedded into the blockchain’s smart contract making every player equal in terms of chances and ways to play the game. For example, players can only sell their virtual cats on Ethereum-based marketplaces like OpenSea, the official game’s market. Players are also required to hold ETH to make purchases and must pay gas for most game interactions, such as breeding or placing a cat on sale.

Two Kitties can breed anyhow, except with their siblings, and one wallet should own both Kitties. One workaround is if players use siring, the second cat can belong to another user.

After breeding is actioned, the female and the male enter a cooling period where they cannot breed again. As the cat breeds over time, the cooling period also increases to prevent NFT saturation.

1. Earn a Profit - Players can profit by trading CryptoKitties for higher prices than what they initially purchased them for.
2. Collect Rare Digital Assets - CryptoKitties are collectibles with various attributes and traits, making them rare and desirable to collectors.
3. Investment Potential - CryptoKitties have the potential to increase in value over time as they become rarer.
4. Low-Cost Investment - Investing in CryptoKitties requires little capital compared to other investments
5. NFT Market Access - Provides you with an understanding of NFT gaming while also generating revenue
6. Decentralized Ownership - CryptoKitties are secured on the blockchain and grant players full ownership of their digital cats without third-party interference.
7. Different Types of Game - Financial gamification gives players more benefits for playing an NFT game that can also be converted into money.
CryptoKitties Game Play

Here are Core Benefits of Playing CryptoKitties

Flipping

Flipping is the simplest form of trading and involves buying CryptoKitties at a low price and then immediately selling them again at a higher price. This can be done quickly and easily on any NFT marketplace.
You can look for opportune moments to track large CK offloads and consider buying them when there is a lot of demand and the floor price decreases.

WCK Exchange

WrappedKitties (WCK) gives holders new ways to generate revenue by buying into the WCK token and trading it for NFT contracts. This creates ways for players to swap their digital cats for tokens and scan for ones that could increase in value in the short/long term based on some of their traits and unique characteristics.

WCK Arbitrage

There are instances when the price of a cat and the WCK token has a price discrepancy between 20%-30%. In that scenario, players could use tokens to purchase cats, sell them at a higher floor price, and then repurchase WCK tokens. This helps players generate additional K tokens.

WCK Trading

WCK are tokens with market value, so by understanding basic technical analysis and market volatility, players can buy and sell tokens to increase their stake. The easiest way is to hold stablecoins and buy into WCK when the market dips, as the price of a WCK token could recover in the long term.

Skills and Strategic Goals to Leverage

Entry Level Play (Less than 0.1 ETH/ 0 cats)

The entry-level play is for people on a budget who want to seek ways to get their foot into the door and build their collection. With that in mind, always research before buying or breeding any cats. Read about some of the best cost-effective strategies, and when a low capital is involved, you must pay attention and make purchases when gas prices are at their lowest level. Then, without a big budget, you can seek opportunities for giveaways to get started!

Flipping

Flipping is the simplest form of trading and involves buying CryptoKitties at a low price and then immediately selling them again at a higher price. This can be done quickly and easily on any NFT marketplace.
You can look for opportune moments to track large CK offloads and consider buying them when there is a lot of demand and the floor price decreases.

WCK Exchange

WrappedKitties (WCK) gives holders new ways to generate revenue by buying into the WCK token and trading it for NFT contracts. This creates ways for players to swap their digital cats for tokens and scan for ones that could increase in value in the short/long term based on some of their traits and unique characteristics.

WCK Arbitrage

There are instances when the price of a cat and the WCK token has a price discrepancy between 20%-30%. In that scenario, players could use tokens to purchase cats, sell them at a higher floor price, and then repurchase WCK tokens. This helps players generate additional K tokens.

WCK Trading

WCK are tokens with market value, so by understanding basic technical analysis and market volatility, players can buy and sell tokens to increase their stake. The easiest way is to hold stablecoins and buy into WCK when the market dips, as the price of a WCK token could recover in the long term.

Intermediate Play (0.1 ETH to 5 ETH)

Supply a Fancy Chase

You can take advantage of this Play during Fancy Chase events by paying attention to the desired traits and making rapid purchases on the marketplace to flip them for profit. With the demand for NFTs with a wanted characteristic growing, selling them for a profit will be easier, but don’t go full throttle into a buying spree.

Breeding

With enough capital, players should consider breeding cats, but it’s essential to know the percentage of getting a rarer cat with unique attributes before entering the game. In addition, selling new cats is a long-term play; each player should weigh out the benefits and disadvantages of having a high-value cat for sale or having liquidity to engage with other strategies. The bottom line is that you should know what you are breeding and your expectations before making any purchases.

This is a great strategy that can be scaled as funds increase, potentially yielding even greater rewards.

Advanced Play (5 ETH to 100+ ETH)

Siring

Use the cats you have in your little that have some residual siring power to generate some ETH, as other players can use your cats for breeding their own and, in return, offer you tokens.

Liquidity Provider

Use DeFi protocols to leverage your current assets like ETH and WCK to provide liquidity for other players. It’s a passive way of generating 3% off of trading fees. However, this is useful only if you’re inclined to continue to hold ETH and don’t mind market price fluctuations.

Bigger Bets

With more knowledge about the value of CryptoKitties, players can buy into more expensive ones that can generate higher returns. For example, 2% of 30 ETH has more weight than 2% of 0.3 ETH. For that, players should get a grasp on the community and be active in researching how buying trends change and what could become valuable given new updates. For example, Gen:0 cats are always valuable, but lower cap fancies could yield a higher return in the short term.

FOMO/FUD cycles are real, and they matter

CryptoKitties act like any crypto market, so here’s where the opportunity lies. During a period of FUD, players can go on a shopping spree and get rarer/unique cats for a discount, and when the market is hot, and people are FOMOing NFTs, it’s best to stack on ETH to use in the next market cycle. Of course, crypto and CryptoKitties market cycles could coincide, so players should consider looking for specific moments for purchasing ETH.

CryptoKitties Game Review Breeding example

CryptoKitties Blockchain Data and Methods

Blockchain Transactions

CryptoKitties’s smart contract interacts in several ways with the users and completes 9 networks interacting and involving the smart contract owner, buyer, sales auction, sender, lender, siring action, and reviver. According to research on almost 2 million kitties between 2017 and 2020, the most interaction occurred with users purchasing digital cats on the marketplace, which was done by 86% of the sample.

In addition, 68% of players were likely to breed kittens and create new breeds, while almost half of them, 51.8%, sold them on the marketplace. The lowest amount of interactions took place in lending cats or renting cats for breeding.

CryptoKitties Ownership Transfer Explained

On the blockchain, ownership transfer of NFTs takes place when the sales auction is completed and approved by the network. Next, the smart contract approves and confirms the offered contract and sends information to the core contract. Finally, by sending the receivers’ address details to the core contract, the CK network finalizes the transfer of ownership between the original seller and the new owner.

The Rise and Fall of CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties set out with the goal of making blockchain technology more accessible and easier to understand for the average person, and was one of the first products to capitalize on the idea of NFTs. The game was an immediate success on Ethereum as players bought, traded, and sold virtual cats. The game quickly became a popular trend among crypto enthusiasts, generating FOMO with news about digital cats selling for over 100ETH. It resulted in an ever-expanding marketplace taking up 15% of all network traffic at its peak and even congesting the Ethereum network, causing transaction costs to skyrocket. As network fees were still high, it led to a decrease in popularity over time.

The play-to-earn game was always a money grab for users as players wanted to cash out as much as possible. After the 2018 market meltdown, demand for them dropped, resulting in decreases in support from developers. More than that, the other NFT games that became more appealing started to take center stage; however, that’s not the only reason.

The game’s tokenomics meant that more kitties would become available on the market, resulting in a depleted sense of scarcity. The more players joined, the more kittens would be available, resulting in rarer opportunities for players to chase that 100 ETH NFT. Even with the NFT market kicking off, high network fees meant that users would have to spend a lot on gas fees – sometimes up to $50-$60 for a single, smart contract interaction. With no real incentives for players to continue breeding cats and losing hundreds of dollars in the process, they focused on more affordable networks.

FAQ

Are CryptoKitties a good investment?

They are not such a good investment anymore since the NFT market is down, and there are other better play-to-earn games.

Is CryptoKitties still a thing?

No. The hype around them declined significantly.

What are CryptoKitties worth now?

The floor price of these NFTs is 0.0037 ETH.

Is CryptoKitties an NFT?

Yes, they are.

What is the purpose of CryptoKitties?

To collect, breed, and sell virtual cats.

How are CryptoKitties traded?

They can be traded on the official site or OpenSea.

What determines the value of CryptoKitties?

The cattributes, rarity, and their unique characteristics.

Are there any risks associated with CryptoKitties?

Yes. There is the risk of the value of them decreasing a lot.

Where to buy CryptoKitties?

You can buy CryptoKitties on the official website.

Vlad Hategan
Written by Vlad Hategan verified symbol NFT Gaming Specialist
99 Articles

Vlad is a cryptocurrency expert and social media specialist. With a focus on cryptocurrency culture and how network variables affect cryptocurrency interactions, Vlad has learned the industry's complexities. He is committed to sharing his knowledge in various crypto sectors with anyone interested and is always looking for the next big narrative!

More about this author
author reviewed shield

Reviewed and Fact Checked by Julien Ross , Crypto Enthusiast