Cryptokitties is now the latest crypto-craze, and with plenty of potential crypto-collectibles on the horizon, getting in early with one of them could be the making of a great investment.
Since it’s launch in Novemeber Cryptokitties has really caught the imagination of the digital community.
Thanks to blockchain, the technology behind Cryptocurrencies, gaming has now moved beyond purely the realm of entertainment and into the area of value.
When value is perceived upon an object, or in this case a digital object, then there is an opportunity for investment.
And with the massive rise in the popularity of Bitcoin, everyone is looking out for the new craze.
Cryptokitties is a digital goods trading game that operates on the Ethereum blockchain.
Players can purchase, trade, and breed digital kittens.
There is no straightforward “goal” — the aim is to simply buy a digital kitten, and it will eternally be yours due to the nature of blockchain technology.
However, kittens come with different visual features, called traits, and some of these traits are rarer than others.
Naturally, most users are trying to breed rare cats, not only because they look cool, but also because they can be very expensive; one particularly rare cat was recently sold for more than a hundred thousand dollars.
In fact, total kitten sales so far are around $4 million dollars; pretty impressive given that the game only launched last November.
For a more detailed rundown on what Cryptokitties is and how it works check out my article Cryptokitties – A Digital Money Machine That’s About to Crash the Ethereum Network.
How to Start Playing Cryptokitties
To get started you will need to purchase some ether, and put it in a digital wallet called MetaMask.
Next transfer some ether to the MetaMask wallet (it is advisable to make a small text deposit to ensure all is working correctly and then start with a small amount of Ether – say 0.1 ETH, which is around $47).
Once your MetaMask wallet is loaded with ETH head over to the CryptoKitties website and create an account.
Once your MetaMask account is unlocked and connected to Ethereum’s main network it is possible to purchase and sell Cryptokitties.
Start Buying Cryptokitties
To be an active player in the game you will need to purchase some Cryptokitties.
The primary aim is to buy kitties, sell them, rent them out for breeding (called siring in the game) or have them sire between themselves.
This doesn’t sound too impressive at first.
However, the game starts to get very interesting once you start figuring out which traits are rare and how valuable they can make the kitties.
For instance is you are able to purchase too kitties that possess rare attributes and are able to breed other kitties that also possess rare attributes, then you could be in for a highly lucrative litter of kitties.
In this way the game operates as a kind of digital lottery.
To really get your head around this first check out the kitty-tracking site CryptoKittydex.
The index will provide you with a full list of attributes, including the number of Cryptokitties that actually possess those attributes.
By checking out each Cryptokitty’s attributes it is possible to quickly cross check each attribute on the index to see how rare it is.
Some of the rarest kitties can go for hundreds of Ether with some prices already into the Millions of Dollars.
Purchasing kittens takes place in the Marketplace.
Simply browse until you find a kitten that you like and click on the “buy now” button.
A prompt from Metamask will ask you to confirm the transaction. When you are happy that the amounts match go ahead and complete the purchase and the Cryptokitty will be yours.
Choose Which Cryptokitties to Buy
The important things to look out for in the kitties are the traits or attributes, the generation number and the cooldown period.
Each kitty comes with several attributes.
We mentioned above that rare attributes are what to look out for, especially when considering breeding two kittys.
Rare attributes include the Jaguar and Seafoam traits, so don’t forget to cross check these with the CryptoKittydex.
Gen 0 kitties are introduced into the game every 15 minutes.
If a Gen 0 kitty breeds with another Gen 0 kitty, the offspring will be Gen 1.
If a Gen 1 breeds with a Gen 5 kitty, the offspring will be Gen 6.
The higher the generation number, the worse the kitty will perform, long-term, and the lower its value.
The cooldown period is the period of time that it takes for a kitty to recover after breeding and start breeding again.
This is an important metric as a faster cooldown period means more kitties, but be aware the more kittys that the kitten breeds the longer the cooldown period.
If you can find a Gen 1 kitty with a “swift” cooldown and “jaguar” and “chartreux” traits then you have hit the jackpot — not only is it extremely rare, but it can also be bred many more times to create other rare kitties, and if you only sire it with low generation kitties, you’ll get great genetic offspring.
How to Get Rare Cryptokitties
Looking out for those rare attributes using the Kittydex is the first place to start.
Understanding how the kitty’s genetics are made up is the next.
Each kitty’s genetic material is a 256 bit number.
Certain traits will correspond with certain digits within that number. For example “mainecoon” cats’ zero gene is always number 5.
Genes are transmitted from parents to offspring in the same way as in the real world. Whilst offspring will inherit genes from their parents it doesn’t always happen. Similarly attributes can be passed down but miss out a generation.
Attempting to calculate which characteristics will be passed on from one generation to the next is no mean feat.
Eventually someone will figure out an algorithm for this, but for now it’s best to start breeding try your luck.
No fixed algorithm exists for passing on rare attributes.
It’s also important to know that the game’s developers have no control over which cats are more expensive than others.
Generation 0 kittys are introduced every 15 minutes, but this is scheduled to stop in November 2018. When this happens the marketplace will be fully generated by users breeding kittens
The marketplace has a life of its own. Sometimes you’ll find that one trait may be more desirable than another one which may in fact be more rare.
One last piece of advice: Always check those dollar values before buying anything. Working with ether might seem like spending make-believe money. But never forget that it’s very easy to rack up hundreds of dollars by buying kittens.