Viral Cat-Trading Ethereum Dapp Puts Paw Forward with VC Attention
Developed by Canadian studio AxiomZen, CryptoKitties’ successful Round A investment was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, leading VC firms whose prior investments have included Facebook, Twitter and cryptocurrency market Coinbase. Twelve other VC firms and investors also contributed, including an impressive roster of growing names in the tech investing space.
Released in November 2017, AxiomZen’s surprise smash-hit revolves around collecting, trading and “breeding” digital cartoon cats, each entirely unique and stored on the Ethereum blockchain network. As previously reported, CryptoKitties quickly led to a frenzy of activity last fall, markedly increasing congestion on the Ethereum network and transacting millions of dollars worth of ether in CryptoKitty trades. Some of the game’s rarest cats fetched prices of more than $100,000 apiece, and according to a tracking site, users have sold more than 261,439 unique cats for a total of 42,263 ether, or more than $23 million at ether’s present value. CryptoKitties charges a 3.75% fee for each of its user’s transactions, making CryptoKitties as obscenely lucrative in practice as it is obscure in its quirky cat-breeding premise.
Union Square Ventures co-founder Fred Wilson wrote in a statement on the site’s blog:
At USV, we think digital collectibles is one of many amazing things that blockchains enable that literally could not be done before this technology emerged.
We also think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the first, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.
Or, more simply expressed in a recent meme: