Over the weekend a campy and cute kitten breeding game became the first legitimately popular blockchain application in history.
Since its official launch on Friday, players have spent more than $3 million on the game over the blockchain, including, as of press time, 44 transactions of more than $10,000 of Ether between players. The game is a legit phenomenon, with outlets including TechCrunch running stories on it over the weekend.
CryptoKitties is like a mix between Pokemon and Tomagotchi. Players enter smart contracts with each other to breed their stable of kittens to create one of a few archetypal uberkittens.
.@CryptoKitties is doing at least 13.57% of Ethereum transactions. At this rate of growth, we can expect to see major congestion in Ethereum in the next few days.
— CoinFund (@coinfund_io) December 4, 2017
That players contract with each other for kitten breeding is a particularly clever use of the Ethereum blockchain, which allows for direct, peer-to-peer transactions. Because of the open and transparent nature of the blockchain, you can also see what amounts are going back and forth to players on the platform. There’s even a website, kittysales.herokuapp.com, which tracks agreements between players. The highest contract to date is for a massive $117,000.
The flurry of activity is also showing the constraints of the young blockchain. According to several reports, CryptoKitties players are making so many transactions, they’re clogging up the processing power of the entire Ethereum blockchain.
So here's the deal: If this tweet is retweeted 500 times, @jeffehh will buy my @CryptoKitties https://t.co/KKRA4ajaUs, and I'll donate 100% of the proceeds to @Worldbuilders_. That's anywhere up to $92k.
Help us do this? Please? pic.twitter.com/OyD2W1eDz6
— Nick Johnson (@nicksdjohnson) December 3, 2017