Last year’s crypto hysteria has slowed down a bit.
Bitcoin price has suffered a massive correction, going from $19,000 to $7000, while many ICO projects have gone radio-silent: stating that “The art piece ‘Celestial Cyber Dimension,’ with a CryptoKitty … sold for $140,000 at the Codex Protocol Ethereal Live charity auction.”
I managed to ask the man behind the purchase of the most expensive CryptoKitty, Igor Barinov, a few questions:
Q: What motivated you to purchase the CryptoKitties piece?
There were lots of factors:
- The cat is awesome! It’s beautiful, rare, with a unique shape and background. It’s cat number 127 which is a prime number and has some particular meaning for geeks like us.
- It was the first auction in real life for the cryptokittie. The auction created a story of its life, a trail of bits and stories. That’s important for crypto assets to be connected with real life and have provenance records.
- Out of the ten lots on the auction, only this one CryptoKitty was a digital asset on auction.
- I’m a big fan of crypto art, e.g., t-shirts and stickers from artists like Cryptograffity. It’s great that the proceeds from the auction will go to support blockchain art projects.
- The digital CryptoKitty included a physical hardware wallet which in itself can be seen as an art object.
Q: Mike Novogratz said that he expects the value of the work to go up. Do you agree or disagree?
Mike Novogratz has proven to be a very successful entrepreneur and it was a pleasure to participate in the auction with him. We, as software developers and collectors, are not concerned with whether the value goes up or down. We are just happy that we were able to get this unique artwork.
Q: You could buy the Mercedes S63 with this money, but a cat? Come on!
I have a Toyota Prius, I do not need a Mercedes.
- DApps are not ready for the prime time. The available infrastructure consists mainly of Metamask for desktop users and Toshi on mobile. Despite all the improvements, it is still very far from being used by my grandmother.
- The hype wave that started somewhere last year hasn’t brought any real benefits to the real users, but rather enriched a bunch of ICO founders, who became very wealthy. Just consider that the total volume of transactions of the top fifty DApps combined is comparable to a statistical error for a mediocre taxi app.
- As a result, I think that it makes little to no sense for developers to focus on the creation of decentralized applications for now. More value can be found in the development for L1/L2, improving the foundation rather then building sand castles no one’s playing with.
- There are other blockchains on the market (EOS, Cardano, etc.) and they could become the necessary base for building fast and convenient decentralized applications. But even EOS, having raised $4 billion, has yet to resolve all of its growing problems and speculations.
A more bullish take: I don’t think we should demand the same scalability constraints from dApps as we do from regular apps. Analogy: Bitcoin was originally positioned as the peer-to-peer payment system that you can buy coffee with. Turns out, it doesn’t work for that, but solves a much more important problem of digital gold. Now may be the time to accept that Ethereum is not a platform to trade CryptoKitties and run a decentralized Twitter on, it is instead a platform for high-powered financial derivatives that trustlessly operate hundreds of millions of dollars, like EtherDelta, 0x or MakerDAO. For these use-cases, a $1 transaction fee is still negligible compared to the possibilities unlocked.
I would love to hear your thoughts in comments.