Holders of the cryptocurrency Ethereum had spent more than $2 million on virtual kittens by Sunday night, bought and sold over a new blockchain-based game called CryptoKitties. But when CryptoKitties was officially released on October 28, it unexpectedly became a multi-million dollar digital kitten mill—perhaps the strongest ever confirmation that a fool and their Ethereum are easily parted.
What is CryptoKitties?
CryptoKitties is a game reminiscent of Pokémon game. What distinguishes it is the use of cryptocurrency to conduct transactions and incredibly fast growth. Within days of its launch, its creators made $ 1.3 million. Created by the American-Canadian studio AxiomZen, the title is reminiscent of the popular Pokemon in the card version. According to the Techcrunch service, about 15% of all currency trading carried out in the Ethereum cryptographic code is generated by this game. Rather – a bad game about virtual cats is the absolute number 1 when it comes to trading this virtual currency. Only 8% have EtherData – a service for exchanging tokens. Launched with an initial 100 “founder kitties,” each specimen can “sire” a new kitten and sell it to other users. AxiomZen takes a 3.75% cut of every transaction in this secondary market.
Kittens paralyze Ethereum network
Due to the large popularity of the application, many transactions in the game, such as selling, buying or breeding cats, last much longer than it should and forces the players to repeatedly try to perform a given operation.
Although the game is based on cards, it does not have a popularity scale. We will not find rare or legendary cards here. Instead, the game community naturally creates a pyramid of cards. Those with the most-valued features land at the top and their prices are highest. And the issue is a bit ironic, seeing how ethereum is touted as a “world computer” that hosts unstoppable decentralized applications, replacing the internet. With aspirations like that, it might seem strange that one app for trading otherworldly kittens could paralyze the network, but because of the way blockchains work – with every transaction needing all network nodes to process it – there are limits on the number of computations that can be done all at one time.
It’s putting pressure on Ethereum
Ethereum’s blockchain is jamming up because of a new game that lets people buy virtual cats. CryptoKitties appears to be pushing Ethereum coin to its limits with pending transactions on Ethereum’s blockchain reaching new highs since the app exploded in popularity, according to data from Etherscan.
Nick Johnson, telling CoinDesk: “CryptoKitties is definitely a significant contributor to network congestion, and it may have been what pushed us over the edge from mostly-full blocks to full blocks in the last day or so.”