Pass it forward

It’s charming, but is it $92,000 charming ?

There’s a new craze in the world of cryptocurrencies: kitty-cats.

A game called CryptoKitties, built on Ethereum’s blockchain, has exploded since its launch last week, with participates devoting thousands of dollars worth of ether( Ethereum’s currency) on digital “cat-o-nine-tails”.

There’s a problem, though: The recreation is so favourite that it’s clotting Ethereum’s network.

CryptoKitties isn’t an entirely new genre. Constructed by San Francisco-based studio AxiomZen, video games tells you purchase and market digital kitty-cats; formerly you start, you are eligible to engender them to organize brand-new ones. Each kitty has a series of visual features announced idiosyncrasies, and these characteristics are typically passed onto their offspring. Some of these characteristics are rarer than others, and right now everyone is trying to figure out the game’s algorithm on how to multiply “cat-o-nine-tails” with specific, uncommon characters.

This is done is to get cool, unique kitty-cats, but these uncommon specimens have also quickly risen in price; for example, a “generation 0” “cat-o-nine-tail” with a “jaguar” trait currently moves for around 70 ETH ($ 23,676 ). And on Saturday, a unique feline called the “genesis cat” was sold for 246.9 ETH, or roughly $117,000. So yeah, instead of buying, say, two Tesla Model S cars, person bought this kitten( though it’s perfectly possible that the owner bought it from himself time to grow media attention ).

If you’re scandalized that someone is paying actual money for digital “cat-o-nine-tails”, don’t be. for digital goods has been around for a while, the only inconsistency here being that the prices have switched from quite expensive to outrageous in such matters of daytimes.

There are some expensive kittehs.

Being based on Ethereum, CryptoKitties does have one special trait that earlier, similar games don’t. Once you buy your feline, it’s written in Ethereum’s blockchain. Unless you exchange your kitten, it’s yours eternally, even if the game is shut down at some place( though this article is showing that video games is far more centralized than it seems ).

There’s another aspect of the game that is likely to demonstrate troubling in the near future. Right now, CryptoKitties is responsible for approximately 11.8% of all deals on Ethereum’s network. That’s more than the decentralized token exchange Etherdelta, and the game hasn’t been out a few weeks. This is because every action in the game, including the purchase and multiply cats, has to be recorded on Ethereum’s blockchain, and with proprietors buying more the bag of cats and spawning them, the number of those entryways is rising with a exceedingly steep curve. Currently, partly due to the game’s vogue, there’s more than 10, 000 pending deals on Ethereum; commonly, this list is much lower.

To alleviate this, CryptoKitties has doubled the “birthing fee” and promised it’s give further consideration to a long-term solution.

The problem of scalability has traditionally been real for all blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, and Ethereum’s founder Vitalik Buterin admitted on several occasions that something has to be done to improve it. Ethereum’s development team is already working on solutions to improve scalability, but they’re still ways off. If the CryptoKitties fad sustains, they might have to hurry up.

UPDATE: Dec. 4, 2017, 11:36 a.m. CET Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin precisely shared his views on video games. He said he likes “digital cat plays, ” as they “illustrate very well that the value of a blockchain widens well beyond lotions that would literally get shut down by banks or governments if they did not use one.”

Exposure: The generator of this verse owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH, as well as a rapidly rising number of digital kittens .

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