The Etherum Blockchain software protocol has been built with an aim to allow others to build their own decentralized applications on Ethereum platform. CryptoKitties is one such gaming application built on the Ethereum platform which has gone viral recently to such an extent that it recently caused a major congestion on the Ethereum network causing a delay in transactions.
CryptoKitties is a virtual kitten breeding game which allows users to collect and breed digital cats. All the collected “cats” with their breeds belong to the individual owners and can’t be cloned by other users.
A cat owner can breed his/her cat by changing its features, adding colors and make their cats distinguish from other users present in the marketplace. Once the owner has done with the breeding of the cat, he/she can sell it to other users.
CryptoKitties has been a lot famous within the users ever since its launch and accounts almost 15% of the Ethereum network which is considerably huge. The popularity of CryptoKitties has encouraged to create other games based on the similar concept and news games like CryptoPets and CryptoPuppies are already in making.
Many people including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has extended their support to CryptoKitties saying that they put forward and demonstrate a new way of how assets can be instantly transferred without any third party. The CryptoKitties game is based on a powerful technical standard referred as ERC-721. The ERC 20 standard has been quite popular so far as it has been used for the launch of several ICOs based on Ethereum platform.
However, the ERC-20 tokens are “fungible” meaning each token is just similar to the other. Hence, in comparison to ERC-20, the ERC-721 are better suited for digital or crypto collectibles like CryptoKitties because each cat will have different attributes of the breed, age, and color which gives them a unique identity.
Moreover, the ERC-20 tokens are divisible to be traded even in small quantities. However, this property of the ERC-20 is certainly suitable for a currency it isn’t helpful for crypto collectibles since their division is practically not possible. For e.g. you cannot trade a half cat or only her tail any something like that which sounds really funny.
There has been a lot of questioning done over the use of ERC-721 and many of the developers and yet not happy with the codes and believe that it is still not completely ready to be used. However, developers do believe that with time, it will certainly mature into a robust and acceptable standard.
James Martin Duffy, co-founder of startup LoomX, is said to be working on solving the scalability issues for the Ethereum network. Duffy believes that the ERC-721 tokens can also be used for tracking, trading and managing real-world assets like cars and houses.
He further said “I see [ERC-721] tokens having huge potential in the realm of digital collectibles and online games. You could use them for digital playing cards … or in-game items in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The tokens could represent the swords, armor and other objects that your character has in his inventory. “