September 20, 2022
Victoria Rudi

Breeding CryptoKitties

NFTs have multiple use cases, games being one of them. CryptoKitties is the world’s first blockchain game on Ethereum, and it highlights the dynamics this new technology enables between different stakeholders, aka players.

To help you understand NFTs better, we decided to analyze how CryptoKitties work, presenting a practical way in which they facilitate the interaction between online users.

→ The Basics

The CryptoKitties craze was launched in 2017 by Canadian studio Dapper Labs. The game allows players to buy, breed, and trade digital cats. The CryptoKittiens are NFTs, originally built on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC721 token standard.

CryptoKitties Screenshot

📝Quick note: Compared to ERC-20 tokens, the technical standard for fungible tokens created using the Ethereum blockchain, ERC-721 tokens allow for detailed attributes. By using the ERC-721 token standard, more blockchain projects joined the development of NFT standards, such as:

  • Crypto-collectibles
  • Asset tokens
  • Identity tokens
  • Access tokens
  • And more.

According to the game’s website

“In CryptoKitties, users collect and breed oh-so-adorable creatures that we call CryptoKitties! Each kitty has a unique genome that defines its appearance and traits. Players can breed their kitties to create new furry friends and unlock rare cattributes.”

CryptoKittens were created based on the concept of digital scarcity. Players can breed virtual cats, which carry a unique number of 256-bit distinct genomes with DNA and different attributes passed down from parent to offspring.

CryptoKitties Screenshot

These attributes (or “Catributtes”) include elements such as:

  • Pattern
  • Mouth shape
  • Fur
  • Eye shape
  • Base color
  • Accent color
  • Highlight color
  • Eye color
  • Optional wild
  • Environment
  • Purrstige

According to the game’s website:

“Purrstige Traits are Cattributes that are only breedable for a limited time. Every Purrstige Trait has a special recipe that needs both Cattributes and hidden genes.”

Moreover, there are also mutation traits that can occur occasionally.

→ The Rules of the Game

You can buy your first CryptoKitty using your MetaMask Wallet.

As Decrypt highlights:

“The most expensive CryptoKitty, named Genesis, was valued at $114,481.59 at one point. That’s more than the most expensive ‘real’ cat on record, which only cost $41,435.”

If you go to CryptoKitties search, you can filter the kitties depending on their type, mewtations (or mutations), cooldown, price range, Cattributes, and color Cattributes. Subsequently, you can purchase the one you like most.

CryptoKitties Screenshot

As Seoyoung Kim and Tiana Laurence highlight:

“If you have plans to breed a cat you want to buy, be sure to look at its pedigree. Anticipating the outcome is unknown, and the possibilities for unique and rare genetic makeups of a CryptoKitty are endless.”  

When breeding a new CryptoKitty, you have two options:

  • Breed two of your own Kittens together
  • Breed with a public sire

It’s worth noting that Kitties will belong to different generations. It is recommended to breed two Kitties of the same generation. This way, the offspring will be the highest generation of both parents plus one.

If you breed a Gen 2 and a gen 3 Kitty, you get a Gen 4 Kitty. If you breed two Gen 2s, you’ll get a Gen 3 kitty.

When breeding two CryptoKitties, know that one acts as the sire and the other as the dame. The sire will have a recovery period before breeding again. When incubating the Kitty, the dame can’t engage in another pairing.

You’ll have to pay a breeding fee. This is necessary even if you’re breeding two of your own cats.

According to the CryptoKitties’ website:

“Breeding two of your own cats together costs a flat rate of 0.04 ETH plus the transaction fee. Breeding with another player’s Kitty costs the siring price set by that player, plus the 0.04 ETH breeding charge and the transaction fee.”

You can breed CryptoKitties multiple times.

However, the recovery and gestational periods will increase the more they mate. Also, remember that the more your cat has been used for breeding, the slower it is to produce offspring.

→ Trading CryptoKitties

Thanks to its special Cattributes, different values, and mutations, each CryptoKitty is unique. The scarcity and the cat’s unique combination of traits will increase its value. However, the players are the only ones who can determine what is rare and what is not, making specific CryptoKitties more expensive.

CryptoKitties Screenshot

For example, the most valuable CryptoKittens are the Founder Cats. There are only 100 Founder Cats on the platform. In 2021, an anonymous buyer purchased 4 CryptoKitties Founder Cats for $2.2M.  

Twitter Screenshot

The Exclusive Cats are a different collection of expensive CryptoKitties. The Exclusive Cats were introduced by the team that worked at CryptoKitties. Some of these Cats were sold for significant amounts of money.

However, it’s worth remembering that even regular cats can be traded for money. Although players won’t generate impressive revenue by selling regular cats, they may choose to continue breeding and get lucky by generating a cat with unique traits that will be worth a larger amount of money.