By Jared Polites December 13, 2017
In case you thought 2017 couldn’t get any weirder, the world is now obsessed with virtual cats. CryptoKitties is a virtual game that allows players to collect and breed digital cats. In the game’s short lifespan (it launched on November 28th) it has already drawn interest from players across the globe. Many users are drawn to the game because it is completely personalized.
The “cats” an individual breeds or collects are uniquely their own and cannot be cloned by other users. When users breed their own cats they can add distinctive colors, facial features, or backgrounds to distinguish their cats from other users’ on the marketplace. Once a cat has been bred, its creator can sell it on the marketplace. As of December 11th, 2017, these virtual cats had generated an estimated $12 million in sales.
Although the trading of virtual cats might seem like a silly, fleeting trend, the transactional aspect may have long-term implications. What really sets CryptoKitties apart from other addictive online games is its Ethereum foundation. The marketplace, developed by AxiomZen, was built on Ethereum’s blockchain ledger, and users buy and sell cats on the protocol using Ethereum’s proprietary token, Ether.
CryptoKitties has quickly become the most popular smart contract on Ethereum, and as of December 10th, 2017, the marketplace accounted for almost 15% of Ethereum’s total network transactions.
More at: What CryptoKitties Reveals About Ethereum Scalability Issues – CryptoCoinsNews
It’s like Beanie Babies, but somehow even weirder.
By Daniel Oberhaus December 4, 2017
In October, I tried my hand at an early version of CryptoKitties, a game in which players breed digital cats on the Ethereum blockchain by executing smart contracts. At the time, it seemed would be a fun (and short-lived) way to introduce newbies to the way smart contracts work on the Ethereum network.
But when CryptoKitties was officially released on October 28, it unexpectedly became a multi-million dollar digital kitten mill—perhaps the strongest ever confirmation that a fool and their Ethereum are easily parted.
At the time of writing, CryptoKitties is the busiest smart contract on the blockchain, accounting for a little over 11 percent of all network traffic.
As TechCrunch put it, “we now have people using Ether, an asset with arguably little tangible utility to purchase an asset with unarguably zero tangible utility.” Still, CryptoKitties is the closest thing to a “killer app” to be released so far on the Ethereum network, which has mostly been used to fund sketchy multi-million dollar investment rounds for applications that don’t exist.
Read More: I Bred ‘Crypto Kitties’ on the Ethereum Blockchain
Over the weekend, over $2.5 million (about 6,200 ether) passed through this smart contract as a result of people breeding, buying and selling these digital kittens.
More at: 11% of Traffic on the Ethereum Blockchain Is Being Used to Breed Digital Cats – Motherboard
By Omri Barzilay, Contributor November 30, 2017
VR startup Decentraland raised $24 million in 35 seconds in their initial coin offering (ICO) in August this year.
Virtual reality (VR) is projected to become a $40 billion industry by 2020. Innovations in both VR hardware and software have made for interesting applications, especially in gaming and entertainment. In addition, new products by companies like Oculus and Sony are making VR headsets more accessible to both consumers and developers.
New platforms seek to integrate these new VR technologies with the social element of multiplayer gaming. These allow for more immersive experiences unlike previous virtual worlds like Second Life. To its credit, Second Life popularized not only activities such as social interaction through digital avatars but also the monetization of virtual items and real estate. Rare and unique items in these virtual worlds and online games can reach six-figure prices in real dollars. Demand for such items has even spawned a lucrative black market.
Today’s modern VR platforms leverage emerging technologies such as blockchain to make virtual property ownership and trade more secure. Virtual reality platform Decentraland, for example, uses blockchain to identify and designate ownership of land in its virtual world.
More at: How Blockchain Is Breathing New Life Into Virtual Real Estate – Forbes Investing #NewTech
By John Koetsier, Contributor November 21, 2017
Sliver.tv, an eSports-streaming Twitch competitor, is launching a new decentralized streaming network powered by blockchain. The resulting network will act like BitTorrent, where files are distributed globally on thousands or millions of computers, and distribution nodes on the system will earn cryptocurrency tokens by caching and relaying video streams.
And the founders have the king of digital video, YouTube, squarely in their sights.
It probably doesn’t hurt that YouTube founder Steve Chen and Twitch founder Justin Kan are advisors.
More at: New VR Streaming Service: BitTorrent Meets Blockchain Meets YouTube Meets Twitch – Forbes Tech #NewTech
By Chris Chong October 11, 2017
In this photograph taken on September 20, 2017, an eSports gamer plays League of Legends during training for the League of Legends World Championship at a boot camp in Shanghai.Once dismissed as the pursuit of teens and introverts, eSports is growing fast towards being a billion-dollar industry and has a huge fanbase, especially in Asia. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA
Cloud gaming platforms, where gamers can play console-games using their laptops and PCs, will soon upgrade to adopt blockchain-powered decentralized systems, enabling peer-to-peer direct connection with member participation incentivized through a tokenization system.
Playkey has spent 4 years developing cloud gaming technology that allows gamers to play the latest video games on low-performance computers. That means that for a small fee you can play top-rated games anytime and anywhere, using any device- including your old, dusty laptop – as long as you have a fast internet connection.
Source: Cloud Gaming Is Launching In Southeast Asia, Using Blockchain To Empower Gamers – Forbes Asia #StartupLife