CryptoKitties: Breedable NFT Felines

CryptoKitties – All The Purrrrrrrrrfect Catributes of Blockchain Assets

In earnest, it was the 2017 crypto Bull Run that put Bitcoin in the eye of the press. In their eyes, it was the only cryptocurrency in existence. That was until a certain feline asset, CryptoKitties, one of the first true ERC721 NFTs, and Axion Zens forerunner to the now popular Axiom Infinity. It was in November 2017 that the ETH blockchain saw a sixfold rise in user activity because of the addictive nature, and huge aftermarket value of the virtual moggies, nearly crashing the whole ETH network. Garrick Hillman, from the University of Cambridge, seemed to massively miss the point of what ETH is about with the following comment “CryptoKitties has become so popular that it’s taking up a significant amount of available space for transactions on the Ethereum platform, Some people are concerned that a frivolous game is now going to be crowding out more serious, significant-seeming business uses.” If he had taken the time to learn that ETH is an open-source, developers dream, created by our good friends Vitalik Buterin, Gavin wood now of PolkaDot fame, Charles Hoskinson, now of Cardano et al. It was created with this exact sort of project in mind. If you have read our earlier article you may have noticed that Vitalik was one of the contributors of the BTC Coloured Coins White Paper, and as previously discussed, probably saw the limits of the Metadata that the BTC chain could hold, thus going on to create Ethereum in all its glory.

CryptoKitties, is a lot of fun, for not much outlay. We are going to ignore the current gas issue, which will be solved by ETH2 and the game changed forever by the pending parachain functions, that will be bought about by PolkaDot and Cardano. For now, we will lay a meaningless tautology on you about gas, and say “it is what it is”. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head and forcing them to engage in these activities! OK rant over, back to our virtual cat siring. You will, of course first have to go to the CryptoKitties website, connect your ERC20 wallet and give the required permissions. As I am a struggling writer, trying to make a name for himself in the hottest new market, since the great New Market fire of 12-March-1683, I have gone for the budget, starter Kitties, which start at a modest $5-6 US, on a serious note re the gas fees, if one is in no great rush to get their hands on their cats, when the sale is awaiting confirmation, go to advanced options and adjust your Gwei. Gwei is the amount of ether offered per gas unit to pay miners to process your transaction. Converting Gwei into ETH is simple: take the Gwei value and move the decimal point nine spaces to the left. So, 5 Gwei equals 0.000000005 ether. Don’t get silly with it or the miners will never pick it up, and if you trade from the same wallet and the market dumps, you will have to go into advanced settings again and reset your wallet, which if it’s a big wobble could cost precious seconds, and you will lose much of your transaction history. On Sunday 17th Jan 2021  I paid approx $16 in ETH including the miner’s fee. Without tampering with the Gwei, on slow mode, it took a few minutes.

Unless you were homeschooled or educated in a very non-secular institution, you should know that for nature to take its course you will need 2 kitties. Please leave comments below if this is incorrect (not the taking two to tango part), but from what I can gather, at this stage, the felines are hermaphrodites, or at least of undetermined gender. As such, go through this process twice. The virtual felines, each have a distinct 256-bit genome which translates to DNA traits (or Catributes). Below each Cat is a list of its genes, so you get a slight clue as to what to expect. When we first looked at this platform, a couple of years ago, there was a more random element to it, as each tokenised tigger also contains a certain number of hidden or randomised genomes, which gave the process an element of surprise. Since this time there is now a way to see some of the hidden Catributes. Although this is still a fiendishly entertaining and addictive platform, one cannot help but think that this detracts from the fun, unknown element somewhat.

Once you have selected, paid for, adopted and given them a safe and loving environment. In which they will feel safe and happy enough to make more than platonic relationships, you will need to book a nice restaurant for them, with dim lights, romantic music and make sure that the waiter keeps the vino flowing (unless there are health/religious restrictions on these activities, maybe a dry January?). In which case Appletise will have to do.
Once your two kitties are in the mood, in your in-game wallet click “Breed”. Then click the “Dame” box and select the mother, do the same with the “Sire” box and select the father. You will then be presented with the screen below. Part of each creatures open catributes relates to the amount of time it takes to gestate and recover from the breeding process. It ranges from 30 mins to 3 or 4 days. So if you are in a rush for your new friend, better select two cats with a quick turnaround, the recovery time between breeding cycles also varies, so again, if you are in a rush to breed more and more you will need to consider that too. Thankfully the Dapperlabs (the super team whom Axiom Zen put CryptoKitties under after launch), have made in-breeding impossible. So you will need a fresh stock of animals to breed a large cattery.

Once Mum and Dad have done what apparently only the Birds and the Bees get up to (maybe that’s why they both fly? I went to a Catholic school, Nuns do not give the best “Life Science” classes), your cat will lay its egg, as is natures way, your new kitty will hatch, and be yours to cherish, your CryptoKitty selection will be available on Opensea. To do with as you please.

If you want to put your new pet up for sale, click “Wrap” and your new litter will be up for sale. It goes without saying that the higher value Cats you buy in the 1st place, the higher value the offspring will be. Saying that, one of the budget Kitties we managed to get hold of had been bred by the fabulous Pranksy. So we are hoping that will add some instant provenance to the lineage. If you have a little ETH to spare and have time for a lot of fun and feline frolics, you should give it a go. It’s not a mega-expensive way to get some cheap saleable NFTs in your wallet.

Written by : Benny Steele

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