Is collecting and breeding kittens on the internet enough to ensure the sustainability of the project?
Do you like the internet, cats, and blockchain? So you must have heard of a pioneer of the non-fungible tokens: CryptoKitties . If not, the game’s concept is pretty simple: buy, breed and resell virtual kitties. Each cat has attributes and their fusion makes it possible to obtain new, exclusive and cute cats. Really cute ones.
Despite the limited gameplay, these little kitties had great success everywhere on the blockchain and that’s how they marked their territory. Even if their long history passionated the whole crypto-sphere, today some pretend that their influence doesn’t go as far as before, and some others support the opposite.
I wanted to share with you my analysis about the different charts from these two reports and I discovered a much more complex reality hidden behind these cute little faces. More complex than just exchanging kitties.
Their cuteness’ success from late 2017 - early 2018 caught everyone off-guard because of the collector prices. Everyone wanted their CryptoKitty, everyone wanted their little fragment of Ethereum, transactions went on and on, and gas prices hit the moon.
Remember, we are on January 6th, 2018, Ethereum can be bought at around $1000 and the average Gwei is at around 90 (with a peak at 40,000).
So what does that mean in the game? Let’s take for example the “Breed” action (this action makes you… breed two kitties to create a new one). You’ll need 119,000 Gas (250,000 at maximum) to complete the transaction and pay 0.008 Eth for CryptoKitties’ fee.
Multiply the result with the average price of gas, the cost of this task will have cost you $18. And as we’re speaking only with an average price, it will take hours or even days for your NFT to get in your wallet.
119,000 x 90 Gwei = 119,000 x 0.00000009 = 0.01071 ETH
And if you were in a rush to have your baby cat:
250,000 x 40,000 Gwei = 250,000 x 0.00004 = 10 ETH
This was a time were transactions were slow and expensive, but somehow, CryptoKitties reached the peak of popularity in this period. What CryptoKitties really succeeded in was to popularize non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and highlight their unique selling properties.
Moreover, dozens of media (in crypto and more) wrote about the 10-15% blockchain’s obstruction caused by CryptoKitties but since it was one of the only intuitive and easy-to-use blockchain-games available on the market, this promotion made them the leader of this new emerging market.
This is where the interesting part begins: few months later, the public lost much interest in crypto-currencies but NFT succeeded simultaneously, a lot more attention for those who wanted to keep the adventure going in another way than speculation.
If you compare the transaction’s volume (average of 87,500 for CryptoKitties) per week over 2018 with the userbase’s evolution and the number of active addresses, we are forced to admit that the game is still active and more than a hype effect, CryptoKitties achieve to rank itself as “historical”.
It’s hard to rank it in a different way because more and more projects appeared with innovative gameplay which led the users to look for new experiences.
The release of each new “Cattribute” results in an immediate increase in the value of the kittens… but despite these peaks linked to a punctual event, the overall value of kitties has globally declined throughout the year.
Cryptokitties price evolution, according to “Base colour” cattribute — Source: https://nonfungible.com/nft-report-2018
Such as the Bitcoin is for crypto-currencies, will CryptoKitties stay the reference for non-fungible tokens for the next decade? Will kitties continue to rule the internet?
Only Satoshi Nakamoto could answer… Meanwhile, a single Kitty was sold for 600 ETH in late 2018.
And if you think 20% is not that much among all the existing active addresses, remember:
There is a very strong dynamic and undoubtedly very promising around the interoperability of the game with other actors in the space:
To conclude, there has been a gradual decline in interest in the CryptoKitties collectible in 2018. From this state of affairs, we can deduce several extremely revealing things from the crypto-collectible phenomenon: