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All You Need to Know About CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties were one of the first collectible NFTs released to the market and have continued to gather interest from a certain subset of the cryptocurrency community.

Built on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoKitties were the fore bearers of collectibles like NBA Top Shot (also by Dapper Labs) as well as CryptoPunks and Sorare. CryptoKitties were Ethereum’s first official gaming application and accounted for a considerable amount of Ethereum transactions for a period of time.

There have been instances of individual CryptoKitties selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars although these days the average sell price of a CryptoKitties sits around $60. Keep reading to learn more about the CryptoKitties ecosystem and whether people are still bullish on the future of the digital cats.

The History of CryptoKitties

The journey of Cryptokitties started years ago. Released to the public on November 28th, 2017, Cryptokitties appeared as the world’s first game built on the Ethereum Network. Before going for the public launch, CryptoKitties had launched its beta version to 200 early access users on November 23rd, 2017. It attained immediate popularity and became the third most active smart contract on the Ethereum network within three hours of the launch. It accounted for nearly 2% of all Ether transactions. A total of more than 25 ETH – close to USD 11,750 – was used to collect and breed CryptoKitties. Each early access user had nearly 34 CryptoKitties.

The alpha launch that happened at the ETHWaterloo in October 2017 preceded the beta. ETHWaterloo was the largest Ethereum hackathon globally. CryptoKitties achieved success there as well. It became a co-winner of the hackathon along with the Mixpanel application for smart contracts, Rufflet.

But why was CryptoKitties so popular and well-accepted by the community from day zero? Apart from being the world’s first Ethereum network gaming application, the game appeared appealing to many users for its breeding system. While we would discuss how to breed CryptoKitties in later segments, the USP of the process rested in the possibility of what could emerge from two CryptoKitties breeding. The offspring that appeared out of two CryptoKitties breeding could have four billion possible genetic variations, resulting from each parent’s 256-bit genome. The offspring could differ in their appearance, biography, and traits – and that’s what generated much excitement among the early adopters of the game.

The success of the alpha and beta launch persisted after the public launch as well. Contemporary reports suggest, within a few days, CryptoKitties became a viral sensation. People started spending large sums of money on the game. Within the first week of December 2017, the game witnessed $1.3 million in transactions, with multiple kittens selling for as high as around 50 ETH, around $23,000 according to the conversion rates of that time.

The “genesis” kitten fetched a record price of 246 Eth, around $113,000, in 2017. The least expensive kitten fetched a price of around $12, or 0.03 ETH, suggesting a large fluctuation in the rates. Since then, the CryptoKitties have remained available as something where each cat is a one-of-a-kind. Once you’ve owned your kitty, you can buy and sell cats within the community, create collections and earn rewards, breed cats and chase limited edition fancy ones. You can also play games in the KittyVerse and crack puzzles alongside other players.

According to a report published in mid-2019, CryptoKitties had 1.5 million users, responsible for $40 million worth of transactions. There were records of the CryptoKitties’ most expensive sale happening for a price of more than $300,000 apiece. At that time, the average sell price of a CryptoKitty was $65.76.

The latest available numbers suggest that for the thirty days ending on May 18th, 2021, the number of CryptoKitties sold had crossed the mark of 6,000, resulting in a total sales figure of more than USD 390,000.

The Team Behind CryptoKitties

The game was built by Axiom Zen, a Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio. The studio started with its operations in 2012 and currently holds five independent businesses under its corporate umbrella. Out of these five businesses, Dapper Labs is responsible for CryptoKitties and other products such as NBA Top Shot, Flow, and Dapper Wallets.

Dapper Labs came out as a separate entity from the brand name of Axiom Zen in February 2018. The objective of Dapper Labs is to disseminate the benefits of blockchain through the avenues of entertainment and gaming. Dapper Labs is backed by several reputed investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Google Ventures, Samsung, and the founders of Dreamworks, Reddit, and Zynga, and many more.

Right now, the CryptoKitties core team has 15 people in it, looking after the different aspects of product and development, business and support, art and design, operations, and community.

Where to Buy CryptoKitties?

You can buy CryptoKitties from the Cryptokitties marketplace. All you need to do is look through the Search tab on the marketplace. After buying, you can breed two Cryptokitties together or receive one as a gift from another player through your wallet.

The CryptoKitties do not have a standard price. The auctions determine the final price. A small amount of ‘gas fees’ also go into conducting transactions on the blockchain. Every fifteen minutes, the CryptoKitties team releases a “Gen 0” CryptoKitty. The starting auction price of the Cryptokitties is derived by calculating the average price of the last five Cryptokitties sold from the Kitty Clock. Then, an additional 50% is added to the price.

Apart from the buying cost, and transaction gas fees, you would also incur a birthing fee each time you breed your kitties.

How to Breed CryptoKitties?

Breeding CryptoKitties is one feature that has helped the game gain immense popularity among its users. As we already know, every Cryptokitty is unique. Each one has its traits. The platform calls these traits Cattributes. Breeding two kitties together imply that the bred kitten would have a blend of Cattributes coming from both its parents.

The process starts with you clicking on the breed button. Once you’ve clicked on it, you would get to choose the two Kitties you want to breed. You can choose one as the Dame and the other as the Sire. Once you’ve chosen the kitties, the platform will show you the birthing fee and the estimated gas fee applicable. If you agree on the price, you give your consent to the breeding by clicking on the button that says: ‘Ok, give them some privacy.’ The breeding process generally costs about 0.08 ether.

After the breeding process ends, you will get an egg. Once you’ve clicked on the egg, you will finally be delivered with Kitty. It will have a unique number attached to it and a small bio written about its features. The newly bred Kitty will be added to your profile – and that’s how the breeding process will end. You can also breed with other users’ kitties by paying a Siring fee along with the Birthing fee.

The only restriction that you need to keep in mind while breeding kitties is that they can not breed while they are expecting offspring or recovering from siring. This period of breeding restrictions is known as the cooldown period. The cooldown period increases every time Cryptokitty breeds.

In terms of population restrictions, there is no limit to the number of kitties to be bred in general. However, when it comes to the Gen 0 kitties, the number would not cross 50,000. For other types of CryptoKitties, there could be billions of genetic combinations.

The Cryptokitties Revenue Model

There are two broad revenue streams in the Cryptokitties sales model. The first one is what the Cryptokitties team earns by selling the Gen 0 cats, which they release every 15 minutes. Other than that, the platform makes an earning of 3.75% on each marketplace transaction.

Similar Players

Other products in the crypto-collectibles space that match Cryptokitties are CryptoPunks and NBA Topshot.


Developed by the Larva Labs, the CryptoPunks are 10,000 unique collectible characters. Like the CryptoKitties, each of the CryptoPunks is different from the other. While the CryptoKitties gained fame as the first game to launch on the Ethereum Network, the CryptoPunks are the first NFT on Ethereum. More importantly, it inspired the development of the ERC 721 standard, empowering most digital art and collectibles.

In the last 12 months, more than 9,400 CryptoPunks have been sold. The lifetime sales value of all CryptoPunks combined has crossed the mark of $418 million. The current lowest price of CryptoPunk is 14.5 Eth, while the largest sale so far has fetched more than $7.5 million.

Buying CryptoPunk is easy. All you need to do is download and install the MetaMask Chrome browser plugin. Having this plugin helps websites like access your Ethereum account. The MetaMask plugin also helps you buy Ether from Coinbase if your Ethereum account is new and you do not have any funds in it. As the CryptoPunks marketplace website recognizes your plugin, it will allow you to bid on, buy, and sell punks directly in the interface.

NBA Top Shot

The NBA Top Shot is another product line from the house of the Dapper Labs. Although it is still in its Beta version, you can buy, sell, and collect officially licensed digital collectibles that feature the iconic moments of your favorite players.

More than 500,000 NBA Fans have already used NBA Top Shot to own a moment of their favorite player. You can also buy NBA Top Shot sets that are nothing other than curated collections of all your NBA Top Shot collectibles.

The platform charges a marketplace fee of 5% on the sales price. For instance, if the selling price of a moment is $10 on the marketplace, the seller receives $9.50 on their Dapper wallet. The marketplace receives the rest of the $0.50.

You can also participate in the NBA Top Shot challenges to earn exclusive Moment collectible rewards. All you need to do to complete a challenge is collect and hold the moment until the predetermined time expires.

Frequently Asked Questions About CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties are still available for you to collect and breed. Additionally, you can create your collection with them to earn rewards. You can play games in the KittyVerse and crack puzzles alongside other players. At the time of writing this review report, there are more than 2,000 kitties up for sale. The available Kitty types include the normal, fancy, exclusive, super edition, and shiny fancy. You can choose your Cryptokitty by the generation it belongs to and its cooldown period. You can sort them by price, age, generation, cooldown, and likes.

The CryptoKitties marketplace suggests quite the opposite. As we have already seen, there are more than 2,000 Cryptokitties available for sale and siring. While the minimum price starts from 0.001ETH, the highest-priced one has crossed the mark of 999 ETH, or USD 999k. Had CryptoKitties been worthless, they would not have fetched such a high price apiece.

If we look at the CryptoKitties sales history over the last month (considering the time of writing the review as the endpoint of the period), out of more than 6,000 CryptoKitties sold, more than 2,700 were secondary sales. While primary sales drew a volume of nearly $98,000, the secondary sales drew more than $292K. These numbers indicate a healthy resale value. And, therefore, CryptoKitties can be considered a good investment. It bares repeating that does not offer any sort of investment advice and for informational purposes only.

No. Neither the CryptoKitties are a currency, nor do you require Bitcoins to buy them. CryptoKitties are crypto collectibles that you can buy from its marketplace using ETH. Once you buy a CryptoKitty, it becomes one of your possessions. The smart contract validates your ownership, while the supply and demand of the products work as the price determinant.

Since CryptoKitties are not cryptocurrencies, you can not mint them. However, it is possible to breed your CryptoKitties. You can breed your Cryptokitten by breeding the dame and sire you have. You can also use other peoples’ Cryptokitties for breeding in exchange for a siring fee.

Yes. It is the world’s first game built on the Ethereum Network. You can follow the CryptoKitties official blog to learn more about the game updates.

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