How rare digital assets changed the game, and which will hold their value in the long term
CryptoKitties is raffling an exclusive Dog(Cat) cryptokitty at www.kittyraffle.org to save the lives of *actual* cats. Raffle tickets can be purchased in ETH, BTC, or by donating or adopting cryptokitties.
Based on the wallet totals, your chances of winning are very high, but the raffle ends tomorrow, October 31st at 11:59PST.
CryptoKitties, as silly as it may sound, represent the future of the crypto industry. At the 2018 Money20/20 summit, the cofounders of Interstellar (a merger between Chain and Stellar), Jed McCaleb, and Adam Ludwin, officially announced that they were going to switch from a platform company to a product company.
So, instead of the traditional model of:
a) building a platform, and then;
b) evangelizing that platform to whatever fool is willing to listen, and then;
c) waiting for (and often paying) minimally vetted crypto projects to build (likely) less than average blockchain use cases upon your increasingly irrelevant platform,
Interstellar has decided to invest resources into development in house, and be as deliberate as possible for the products and services brought to market on their platform.
Guess what? This is what CryptoKitties has been doing the whole time.
A product obsessed company from inception, CryptoKitties broke the mold for blockchain startups by creating an actual (and popular!) product *before* raising funds, and using blockchain to solve a problem that could not be solved without it (unique digital assets with provable origins and chains of custody). As a result, they were the first decentralized application to gain traction.
Furthermore, CryptoKitties started with ERC-721 non-fungible tokens before they were trendy, and also created a fun game and fully functional marketplace.
One of Consensys’ most anticipated launches of 2018, GamerToken, wants to create an exchange for non-fungible ERC-721 tokens. The popularity of GamerToken speaks to the sentiment among crypto enthusiasts that gaming and digital asset tokens will be the next frontier.
Will Cryptokitties Hold Their Value in the Long Term?
This is certainly up for debate — no one can predict the future. It’s been suggested that cryptokitties are a silly fad that will go the way of beanie babies, but others contend there’s a difference between cryptokitties and other ephemeral pop culture fads.
Proponents of CryptoKitties’ longevity argue that the company’s bias for action and ability to effectively innovate and set trends makes them unique in a crypto landscape marred by garbage and scams. Therefore, these digital kitties are valuable not just for what they are, but for what they represent; historically significant relics of the blockchain revolution.
But…is the Blockchain Revolution Dead?
The blockchain revolution appears to have stagnated — mass adoption seems hard to imagine, and wide gaps exist between the revolutionary technology and the rest of the world. At Money20/20, banks were eager to step in, manage cryptocurrency, and tokenize their existing products and services — but, they’ll likely take the technology and ditch the revolution.
Now’s the time for blockchain and crypto startups to build coalitions with true innovators outside of blockchain — ones who want to empower the most vulnerable and disrupt current power structures.
However, the vast majority of projects peddling crypto for social impact either lack a bias for action or, worse, propose a for-profit impact model, which will likely be exploitative in practice. There has yet to be any real, sustainable, community-based development powered by crypto. That’s why the partnerships CryptoKitties has already formed are actually worth noting.
CryptoKitties and Social Impact
Throughout this bear market, CryptoKitties has not only managed to avoid the dramatic implosions seen elsewhere, they’ve also started giving back to the community in real and meaningful ways with the creation of the “Kitties for Good,” project. Thus far, they’ve donated kitties to support nonprofits for the arts, the oceans, and now, in what may be the most purrrfect marriage in the history of the internet, they’ve donated a digital kitty to save *actual* cats.
In a first of its kind collaboration, CryptoKitties and Sp8de (a digital gaming and gambling startup) have partnered with Cat Town — a small, Oakland-based nonprofit who’s adoption model is *as* disruptive and innovative as cryptocurrency and blockchain. Cat Town took a model that had existed for centuries, flipped the script entirely, and reduced euthanasia rates by 70% — to date, they’ve saved nearly 2000 cats. Everyone, even the most seasoned experts, told them that it couldn’t be done, and they proved them wrong. Satoshi would be proud.
Cat Town is now working to get the word about the work they do out to other areas, and their apprentice programs are already teaching other cities to incorporate their life saving approach. Like blockchain, Cat Town’s model is open source, decentralized, and formulaic, making it very easy for other cities and municipalities to replicate. There’s a lot they can teach those of us in the blockchain community about effectively executing a radical vision amongst a sea of pushback and naysayers.
While this may seem like a small first step, it’s partnerships like these that will perpetuate the blockchain revolution and bring cryptocurrency out of the bear market in a way that is sustainable, healthy, and not reliant on, or co-opted by, big banking institutions.
CryptoKitties and Sp8de recognized the meaningful impact of Cat Town’s work, and these two blockchain startups worked together to host an international raffle to benefit Cat Town (www.kittyraffle.org).
It represents the official launch of Sp8de’s provably fair random number generation (RNG) built on blockchain technology. Since it’s a raffle and not an auction, you don’t have to be insanely crypto rich to own a highly valuable cryptokitty. Anyone can enter to win using ETH, BTC, or by donating or adopting cryptokitties.
So…What are the Most Valuable Kitties?
What will be the most valuable cryptokitties in the long term?
When looking back at other valuable relics of technological revolutions past, we see the assets that represented the most historic firsts and made an impact on communities and pop culture are the most coveted.
For CryptoKitties, three cats stand out as emblematic of the digital asset revolution.
First, the Genesis Kitty. Only one of its kind. The very first digital kitty to be born on the blockchain, and the first digital asset to be auctioned.
Second, Celestial Cyber Dimension Kitty. The first foray into social impact and sold at the first-ever live auction of cryptocurrency-themed art. Proceeds went to Foundation for Arts & Blockchain.
Third, Dog(Cat) Kitty #1812. While there are 16 total Dog(Cats), #1812 is truly unique. A first of its kind collaboration between two, very different, blockchain startups. The first digital cat to save the lives of actual cats. The first-ever digital asset to be raffled online collecting both cryptocurrency and digital assets as payment, and the first to use blockchain technology for the RNG.