What the hell are Cryptokitties?

What the hell is a Cryptokitty?

Put simply, a picture of a computer generated cat:



The actual reality is that Cryptokitties is a game that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. The great thing about your Cryptokitty is that it will exist forever, well at least for however long Ethereum lasts.

If you completely ignore the blockchain & monetisationĀ aspect – you could say Cryptokitties is a game for breeding cats.

The fun part is choosing which cats to breed, and then being excited about what the offspring will look like – all thanks to the ingenuity of the genetic algorithm.

What do common folk think?

I showed Cryptokitties to a few work colleagues, friends & family members who all fall into the category of the ‘technically challenged’ & common folk… The general response was:

They’re pictures of cute cats?

What does it do?

And in all cases when mentioning the fiat price:

šŸ˜® You’re paying HOW MUCH for a picture of a cat?

The process of explaining why Cryptokitties is cool, is the moment that you expose people to buzzwords such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and then finally briefly mentioning Bitcoin (most people in the office heard of Bitcoin but not Ethereum… in which case Cryptokitties is a great entry point for learning about Ethereum).

+1 point for ETH.

How are Cryptokitties valued?

I think it depends on who’s asking:

If you are blockchain literate, you would look into the attributes of the cat.

If you’re common folk, it’s the cutest or weirdest or rarest looking cat (just like in real life with so called pure breeds).

For the blockchain nerds, think of valuation in terms of sought after PokĆ©mon or trading cards – with Cryptokitties there is no exception here.

Outlined below are the attributes that I think affect the prices in the Cryptokitties Marketplace.

Generation (Gen) number

The lower the Gen number, the more expensive it is to buy – I observed the following after buying my first two Cryptokitties and then breeding them for fun:

  • Gen 0: most expensive (these are created by the company)
  • Gen 1: Usually costs less than Gen 0
  • Gen 2: Usually costs less than Gen 1

Cooldown period

Cryptokitties Cooldown

The faster the Cooldown period – the more expensive. The Cooldown period is how quickly that particular cat can breed again:

cryptokitties cooldown


Fancy cats

CryptoKitties Fancy cats

Fancy cats go for lots more. So far I’ve seenĀ Dracula,Ā ShipCat,Ā MistletoeĀ andĀ Ā DuCat.

I actually bred a ShipCat which later on was valued at $50. Mind you – due to the “genetic algorithm” it took me 2 attempts to breed it ($14 or so at the time).

That being said, not all fancy cryptokitties are valued high, some do go for cheap but watch out – they may have been bred a million times before making it’s cooldown period SLOW as hell.

Should I get a Cryptokitty?

If you would like to partake in this revolution of immortalising your cat in history until mankind is extinct and robots take over, then yes.

If you’ve never used the blockchain other than for mining, purchasing crypto and want to do something fun on it, then yes.

Should I breed cryptokitties for profit?

If you’re a total newbie to Cryptokitties & want to breed / sell for profit, then no.

Let me explain why I said no to breeding for profit:Ā It’s bloody expensive to breed and sell generic cats!

Breeding fee$8.09
Selling fee$4.46
Total breeding & selling fees:$12.55

Both these figures were quoted from the MetaMask transaction confirmation window at 18/12/2017 18:47 UTC.

Making profit is a cumbersome process and costs too much money. The average entry price for buying a Cryptokitty that hasn’t been bred (virgin) was 0.0045 ETH ($3.47) – this cat was a Gen 11.

This was the cheapest virgin Gen 11:

Let’s do the math on selling the Gen 11 mentioned above – below is how much it cost to breed it & sell it.

Approximate costs of breeding this cat & then selling it after it was born:

Breeding fee$8.09
Selling fee$4.46
Total breeding & selling fees:$12.55

The seller then put it on sale for $3.47 šŸ˜®

Sale price on Marktplace$3.47
Total breeding & selling fees:$12.55
Actual profit-$9.08

As you can see, this breeder is at a loss or is trying to recoup some of their losses.

The name of the game when breeding for profit is deciphering which traits are needed to give birth to a Cryptokitty that goes for lots of money i.e. Fancy Cats can fetch $1000s.

You can breed a fancy cat if you do your research into the genetic ancestry of fancy cats – google around for knowledge on how to do that.


Can I mine Cryptokitties since it runs on Ethereum?

Simple answer is no. It’s a Dapp that runs on the Ethereum block chain. As a miner, you are indirectly mining Cryptokitties for people by executing the code that generates the creation of a Cryptokitty for someone but you can’t actually point your mining rig to a pool somewhere that’s miraculously churning out Cryptokitties (from my research at least).

Final take

I think Cryptokitties are really cool – it is a fun game to play but pretty damn expensive. Unless you’re willing to kiss your hard earned or mined ETH away, then I would recommend that you don’t buy a cat in hope to make profit by selling it. Others may disagree as they may be breeding & successfully selling for a pretty profit.

Blockchain disruption

I thought this was funny after logging into Dwarfpool:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.