The Very First NFT Game – CryptoKitties

Bitcoin was claimed to be the digital counterpart of currencies, but as NFT games appeared, things changed a bit. Now, NFT’s are touted as the counterpart of collectibles.

NFTs or non-fungible tokens are a collection of data kept on the blockchain – a digital ledger. The blockchain certifies digital assets to be one-of-a-kind, hence, aren’t interchangeable.

Since these are unique assets, they can be sold and bought like every other property. However, these do not have tangible forms of their own.

In 2017, NFTs became even more prominent, hence the appearance of popular crypto games. The first-ever game to appear is called CryptoKitties. It lets you purchase and breed virtual cats that are considered “limited edition”.

In CryptoKitties, you can also adopt different cats of all shapes and colors. You’re allowed to create your own collection of favorite cats then share them with the breeding community.

What is CryptoKitties?

This is an NFT game that focuses on extremely adorable, breedable, and collectible cats called CryptoKitties. Each of these creatures is unique and 100% owned by you. That means, it can’t be copied, destroyed, or taken away.

CryptoKitties was one of the very first NFTs that were considered collectible on the market. And because of this idea, the crypto game gathered interest from a number of people from the cryptocurrency community.

The History of CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties began years ago in 2017 and was released on November 28. The title appeared as the first NFT game in the world established on the Ethereum Network. Before it pushed for public launch, the game launched a beta version to the first 200 users. This was on the 23rd of November of the same year.

It was able to acquire instant popularity, thus, becoming the 3rd most active smart contract on the network. This happened just three hours after the launch, and it accounted for almost 2% of all Ether activities.

Then, a total of over 25 ETH, which is close to $11,750, was utilized to gather and breed the CryptoKitties. Every user who played early on had close to 34 cats in-game.

How CryptoKitties Became Popular

On the 2nd of December 2017, the kitty with ID-1 was sold for 247 ETH. This number equates to over $100,000. After the news spread on the internet, the huge amount generated a lot of attention, especially towards the crypto game.

It was really interesting since there were kitties traded at extremely high amounts. Of course, it attracted the media’s attention and enticed a lot of new players to the game. With all this attention and activity, its explosive growth led to the game’s popularity.

It’s possible that the game’s publisher intentionally made news about a special kitty being sold at a very high price. And in fact, almost every huge transaction happened early in December 2017, precisely corresponding to the rise of CryptoKitties.

But no matter what the cause is, its media exposure significantly boosted the game’s popularity.

How Does the Game Work?

You’re probably wondering how CryptoKitties work, so we’re getting into that right now. Generally, this game doesn’t have any real objective or target. You just buy the digital kitten, then it’ll be yours forever because of the blockchain technology’s nature.

Once you purchase your kitty, it’ll be represented by non-fungible tokens that meet the ERC-721 token’s standards within the game. After owning one, you can start trading and breeding these virtual kitties.

The Goal

The founders of CryptoKitties wanted to make a game that would let everyone own virtual cats created via smart contract. Each cat that’s created will be unique, with differently-colored fur, hair, and even eyes.

Consider it like that of a human’s DNA. Each one of us on the planet is unique with different DNA’s that will never be the same as anyone. This is the same concept for CryptoKitties.

Genetic Algorithm

This is the technology that supports the game. The transactions and attributes of the kitties are all recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Not only looks, but there are also different genders in CryptoKitties, and their names are taken from a female or male horse. The male kitties are called Sires, while the females are the Dames.

Although CryptoKitties is categorized as a game, you can’t really do much with them other than breed, buy, and sell. There are rarer kitties compared to others, and these can be sold for tons of money.

In some cases, there were people who paid over $100,000 just for a single cat.

How to Play CryptoKitties

This time, let’s talk about how to play the game. First, you should register on then link your MetaMask wallet. This is where you’ll hold your NFTs.

Next, you’ll need to buy your CryptoKitty by paying in ETH through your MetaMask wallet. You can find a real marketplace for these NFTs on the site. Here, you’ll get to purchase them to begin playing and reselling.

After buying your kitty, the NFT token will be transferred to your wallet. You will then be the sole and exclusive owner of the kitty. Once you’ve gone through this point, it’s possible to begin breeding the kitty.

Remember, you’ll only need one CryptoKitty to get started. However, we recommend that you start with two kitties so you can breed them to make more.

Getting a CryptoKitty

You can purchase your first CryptoKitties from the CryptoKitty marketplace. You just need to browse through the Search Tab then purchase. You can breed two kitties or get one as a gift from another player via your wallet.

Do note that these kitties do not have a specific or standard amount. Their auctions will name the final price for the CryptoKitties.

Another thing to remember is the small amount of gas fees. These go to managing transactions on the blockchain.

Every 15 minutes, the game’s team releases a “Gen-0” kitty. The auction price for these is acquired by calculating the last five CryptoKitties’ average price sold from the Kitty Clock. After computing, an extra 50% will be added to the price.

Other than the transaction gas fees and buying cost, you also need to incur a birthing fee. This is for every time you breed kitties.

Breeding CryptoKitties

One of the features that have helped CryptoKitties gain huge popularity among its users is breeding. As we’ve already mentioned earlier, each CryptoKitty is unique and every one of them has their own traits.

These traits are called Cattributes on the platform. Breeding two CryptoKitties indicates that the bred kitty will have combined Cattributes from the parents.

The process begins when you click the breed button. Once you’ve done that, you’ll select the CryptoKitties you want to breed. After selecting, the platform will display the estimated gas fee and birthing fees that are applicable.

When you agree with the estimated price, you will give consent to the breeding by clicking a button. This button will say “Ok, give them some privacy”, then the process begins. The breedings processing fee is 0.08 ETH.

Once the breeding process is completed, you will receive an egg that you must click on. From there, you’ll receive Kitty which will have a unique number as well as a quick bio about its features.

The new breed will be included in your profile, and this is how the breeding process ends. If you want, you can even opt to breed with other players’ CryptoKitties by paying the Birthing and Siring fee.

Breeding Restrictions

Although you can breed your kitty however you want, there’s one specific restriction that you need to remember. They cannot breed while recovering from siring or expecting offspring.

This restriction period during breeding is called the Cooldown Period. It increases each time the CryptoKitty breeds.

When it comes to restrictions in the population, there’s no specific limit to the number of kitties bred. Yet when it comes to the Gen-0 kitties, the numbers shouldn’t go over 50,000.

For other kinds of CryptoKitties, there’s likely to be billions of genetic mixes.

Can You Also Earn in CryptoKitties?

Yes, there’s a great earning opportunity linked to this crypto game, and it’s what makes it exciting and interesting.

The game is all about buying, breeding, holding, and selling the kitty.

You can purchase an existing kitty then breed it. After breeding it, you can sell it to other buyers for a certain amount. You can also buy a new kitty from the Gen-0 section, then sell it after breeding.

Of course, selling a kitty with more unique attributes gives you higher profit.

If you don’t plan to sell your kitty, you can keep it in the meantime. Wait until its value reaches your desired price. You can opt to sell it in the future when a buyer agrees to buy it at a good price.

The Demand and Supply Process

Like other markets, products, or collectibles, the marketplace of this NFT game is driven by the demand and supply process. When selling kittens, you’ll be asking who the buyers of these kitties are. These people can be anyone since CryptoKitties can make them earn a huge profit if the kittens are unique.

Rare and unique kittens are appealing enough for any buyer who is willing to pay a huge amount of money.

The most expensive digital cat was bought for 600 ETH which is equal to over $2,000,000. And until today, people still buy and sell CryptoKitties at high prices.

The Trick to Earning Money out of CryptoKitties

Now that you know that earning money through CryptoKitties is possible, it’s best to learn how to earn more. To gain more money out of CryptoKitties, they need to be more attractive to the market. And what makes digital cats attractive to buyers? It’s the rare attributes they possess.

Those with the rarest attributes can be worth hundreds of ETH. So when you successfully sell them, you’ll earn a lot of money. Technically, pairing two CryptoKitties is necessary to breed new kittens with unique attributes partly inherited from parents.

The Challenges in Pairing and Breeding CryptoKitties

Playing CryptoKitties is theoretically easy since all you need to do is buy at least two digital cats to breed. But of course, there are still challenges in breeding and that’s generating a kitten with rare attributes.

Since breeding kittens with rare attributes is the challenge, earning money through the game can get quite tricky. That’s because the generated kittens through pairing usually have a lower value than their parents.

The method of passing attributes from parents to offspring actually works like real-world genetics. There’s always a higher probability that the parents’ attributes will be inherited. But of course, it doesn’t always happen, that’s why it’s always possible for kittens to possess rare attributes.

Generating valuable CryptoKitties through breeding is challenging, but there’s always a possibility to produce them. And this challenge is probably why the game became a huge success.

Are These CryptoKitties Still Worth It?

CryptoKitties became highly popular in November 2019 after its users flooded Ethereum’s blockchain. And as we’ve mentioned, the game involves breeding digital cats and producing digital kittens that become collectibles.

Like other NFTs, people find value in the CryptoKitties’ uniqueness and ownership aspects. Basically, a lot of people see the value in the ability to own something.

In some estimates, the crypto game had 1.5 million users who had $40 million worth of transactions in-game. Individual CryptoKitties were also sold for over $300,000 each. Last year, the average sale price for one CryptoKitty was around $65.

Although it’s not the most popular crypto game today, the recent sales of CryptoKitties are still promising. This year, some CryptoKitties were sold for $65,000 to $100,000.

Given these values, investing in CryptoKitties can be a great idea and can also be worth it.

Investing in CryptoKitties is like investing in other NFTs and cryptocurrencies. While these platforms and playing to earn through NFT games are legitimate, these are still highly risky and speculative. Every person’s situation is different, so it’s best to consult a qualified professional before making any financial decisions.