If mining for cryptocurrency doesn’t sound appealing, maybe buying and selling virtual cats will.

As the hype around cryptocurrencies continues to rise, game developers are beginning to gamify blockchain technology. One of the most popular examples currently available on the market is CryptoKitties, a game that allows players to buy and sell virtual cats. Built by Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio AxiomZen, CryptoKitties is one of the world’s first games to be built on the Ethereum blockchain technology. However, unlike Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency, CryptoKitties are crypto-collectibles.

“You can buy, sell, or trade your CryptoKitty like it was a traditional collectible, secure in the knowledge that blockchain will track ownership securely,” according to the game’s white paper.

The game has quickly gained traction since it launched in November, and people have spent more than $17 million buying virtual cats on the Ethereum blockchain.

CryptoKitties is one of the world’s first games to be built on blockchain technology, the same technology that helped deliver Bitcoin and Ethereum. Source: CryptoKitties press kit


Founder Cat # 18, who according to his bio, enjoys “tripping my owner, eating until I loathe myself, and reading Garfield,” is one of the latest cats to enter the market and recently sold for more than 250 ether, valued at approximately $202,242.

But there’s an additional layer behind the game’s motivation to use blockchain technology, according to the CryptoKitties team: Education.

“By normalizing the practical application of smart contracts and cryptocurrency transactions, we will empower everyday consumers with a basic fluency in distributed ledger technology,” they said in their white paper. “We believe in blockchain’s potential.”

Other game developers, like Crytek, are partnering up with cryptocurrency ecosystems to create new opportunities for competitive gaming scenes and developers.

Crytek announced its partnership with Crycash early December. According to a statement from the developer, they’re the first games company to partner on the project and will be adding Crycash payment options to their Cryengine platform and Warface Turkey. Introducing cryptocurrency in gaming will create more peer-to-peer in-game transactions and lower the barrier-for-entry to players that want to earn money by participating in e-sports tournaments, according to the Crycash whitepaper.

“This project will initially focus solely on the gaming community, but will expand to include all of the major competitive eSports games.”

Crycash is already creating an app called Plink to help players manage their Crycash tokens and communicate with others.

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