CryptoKitties: Everything to Know

By  Beluga Research July 8, 2023

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  • CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game wherein players can buy, trade and breed unique digital cats using cryptocurrency
  • Each CryptoKitty is represented as a non-fungible token (NFT), which means that each cat is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replaced or replicated
  • CryptoKitties have gained attention for its collectible aspect, with some rare and desirable CryptoKitties selling for high prices due to their scarcity and unique traits
  • CryptoKitties introduced the concept of digital ownership and the use of blockchain to create and manage virtual assets, paving the way for the broader adoption of NFTs


CryptoKitties is a blockchain-based game wherein players can buy, trade and breed unique digital cats using cryptocurrency, CryptoKitties was one of the first NFT projects to gain mainstream attention, paving the way for the explosion of NFTs today. CryptoKitties was launched in November 2017 by Vancouver-based company Axiom Zen. The game quickly gained popularity, with some of the rarest digital cats selling for thousands of dollars. The project's success was due in large part to its unique combination of blockchain technology, gaming mechanics and cute collectible cats.

A Brief History

The idea for CryptoKitties came about in early 2017, when Axiom Zen was exploring ways to utilize blockchain technology for gaming. The team settled on the idea of creating a game that allowed players to breed and collect digital cats, with each cat represented as a unique NFT on the Ethereum blockchain. The team spent several months developing the game, which was launched in November 2017.

The game rapidly became popular, with certain exceptionally rare cats being sold for thousands of dollars. In December 2017, CryptoKitties accounted for 25% of all transactions on the Ethereum network, causing significant congestion and driving up transaction fees. The game's success also led to increased interest in NFTs with many other projects launching in its wake.

Despite its initial success, CryptoKitties has also faced challenges. In 2018, the project laid off part of its team and shifted its focus to building a blockchain platform for other NFT projects. However, the game remains popular today, with a thriving community of players and collectors.

What Are CryptoKitties?

CryptoKitties are digital cats that are represented as unique NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Each CryptoKitty has its own set of attributes such as fur color, pattern, and eye shape. These features determine its rarity and value. Players can buy, sell and breed these digital cats using ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network.

When two CryptoKitties are bred, their attributes are combined to create a new, unique CryptoKitty. The resulting cat may have attributes that are similar to its parents, but it will also have some new, random attributes. This means that each cat is truly one-of-a-kind, with its own unique genetic makeup. The most expensive CryptoKitty ever purchased was a cat named "Dragon," which sold for 600 ETH (approximately $170,000 at the time) in 2018.

Getting Started

To start playing CryptoKitties, players must first create an Ethereum wallet and acquire the cryptocurrency ether. Once they have an Ethereum wallet and some ether, players can then visit the CryptoKitties website and start browsing the available digital cats. The rarity and value of each CryptoKitty is determined by its distinctive characteristics.

Players can purchase a CryptoKitty by placing a bid or buying it outright using ether. Once they acquire a CryptoKitty, they can breed it with other CryptoKitties to create new, unique offspring. The breeding process involves sending two cats to a special smart contract on the Ethereum network, which generates a new CryptoKitty with a combination of the parents' attributes. The resulting offspring can then be sold or bred further to create even more unique cats.

Unique Aspects

  • CryptoKitties stands out from other NFT projects because of its focus on collectibility and breeding. Each CryptoKitty is unique and cannot be replicated or replaced, making it a valuable digital asset. Additionally, the breeding aspect of the game allows players to create new, unique CryptoKitties, which can be even more valuable than their parents.
  • Another unique aspect of CryptoKitties is its use of smart contracts. Smart contracts are programs that run on the Ethereum network and can automate complex transactions. In the case of CryptoKitties, the breeding process is handled by a smart contract that ensures that the resulting offspring is unique and has the correct combination of attributes.
  • CryptoKitties also highlights the potential of NFTs to create new revenue streams and business models in the gaming industry. By creating unique digital assets that players can buy, sell, and trade, CryptoKitties has opened up new possibilities for game developers to monetize creations.


  • Unique Collectibles . Each CryptoKitty is unique and cannot be replicated, making CryptoKitties valuable collectibles for enthusiasts.
  • Fun and Entertaining . CryptoKitties is a fun and entertaining way to learn about blockchain technology and NFTs.
  • Decentralized Ownership . The ownership of CryptoKitties is decentralized, meaning that players have complete control over their digital assets.
  • Transparency . The transparency of the blockchain ensures that the authenticity and ownership of each CryptoKitty can be easily verified.
  • Investment Potential . CryptoKitties have the potential to appreciate in value over time, making them a potentially profitable investment.


  • Expensive . CryptoKitties can be expensive to purchase, with some cats selling for thousands of dollars.
  • Scalability Issues . The popularity of CryptoKitties has caused significant congestion on the Ethereum blockchain, leading to slow transaction times and high fees.
  • Lack of Utility . While CryptoKitties are valuable collectibles, they do not have much practical utility beyond being a digital asset.
  • Limited Appeal . The appeal of CryptoKitties is limited to a niche audience of collectors and blockchain enthusiasts, which may limit their long-term potential.
  • Environmental Impact. The energy consumption required for the creation and trading of CryptoKitties has raised concerns about the game's environmental impact.