If you've been even remotely exposed to financial news in the last couple months, you've no doubt heard about cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the biggest, but there's also Litecoin and Ethereum in the spotlight (along with countless other altcoins). They're all exploding in value right now, and if you feel like getting on this completely ridiculous rollercoaster, the best way to do it is by signing up on Coinbase as their interface is a lot like just using an online bank. However, once you actually have some cryptocurrency, what do you do with it? For a lot of people, the answer is to hold it and watch it (rapidly) appreciate. For others, it's try to actually use your cryptocurrency as a currency, and one of the most hilariously absurd ways to do that right now is by getting involved in the browser-based game which is headed to mobile, CryptoKitties.

But what the heck even is CryptoKitties? Basically, it's game of collectable, trade-able, breed-able cats, that all live as smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. This is an unbelievable over-simplification of the whole thing, but that's the best way to compress it into a sentence. For more details, take a look at this video:

What's truly fascinating about CryptoKitties is you own your digital kitties, just like you might have owned physical trading cards in the past. You can trade them, sell them, buy them, and whatever else you want to do. The rabbit hole on this goes deep, and it's one that I'm really anxious to see more developers explore, as it's an incredibly welcome change to how a lot of digital games work now where you technically own nothing.

Anyway, the reason this is relevant to ya'll here at TouchArcade is that we reached out to the team behind CryptoKitties to see what their plans on mobile are, and I've got some good news. They're currently in the process of developing some sort of mobile experience for CryptoKitties, as they've considered mobile a key aspect of their roadmap since the earliest days of brainstorming CryptoKitties. Unfortunately, because this whole thing is on the bleeding edge of technology, there aren't many details beyond that to share right now but the developers behind CryptoKitties, Axiom Zen, actively have people working on prototypes as we speak.

I wish I had more news to share, but, man, I can't wait. For more information, and to play along in your browser right now, head over to cryptokitties.co.

  • Stronsay

    I wonder where this will be heading. I see reports already of rare kitties changing hands for over $100,000.

  • neiliss

    Apps like this that work on the blockchain will become more prevalent as people try and figure out how to spend their crypto, which still feels like fake money.

  • Qaioud

    After reading up a bit on this, I’m struck by a couple of things.

    Firstly, by the honesty of the devs. The business plan they published on the cryptokitties website gave me a far better insight into what they’re doing / their goals, levers, and monetisation strategy than any of the dozen mainstream media articles I read before... finding their business plan on their website.

    Secondly, by the sheer balls of this. There is literally no value to kitties, except what someone will pay. And the opening price (when I looked) was £8, with an average (mean?! Median?!) price of £25.

    You have to believe that the block chain picture you’re “buying” - amongst the thousands (tens, hundreds of thousands?) out there will retail for even more; or that it is intrinsically worth an absurd amount of money. Which it patently isn’t. Which is even better, insofar as it exposes the patent absurdity of all financial systems.

    Thirdly, by the complete absence of any structured guides as to “desirable” characteristics. A week or three in, i was trying to find almost anything that could identify common themes wrt what sold. And there was nothing out there. Which is... again. Amazing. Given the apparent success of this venture.

    Pure bubble, attached to a gimmick - but what a fantastic way to tap into a zeitgeist. Blatant junk of no inherent worth - and yet.....