As Bitcoin’s price rises and more institutional money is flowing into the cryptocurrency market,Ethereum is the most suited for growth.
Cats: You either love those harry furballs or you don’t, but the internet is filled with them. Given their ubiquity in the digital space, it was perhaps inevitable that cats cross over into crypto-land and onto the most dominant smart-contract platform today: Ethereum.
This week, it was reported that cryptocurrency users were spending millions on Ethereum CryptoKitties — more on that in a bit. Ethereum, unlike Litecoin or other coins making a comeback from four to five years ago, is not a copy of Bitcoin. Ethereum is a brand new Blockchain with many improvements, including and especially the addition of virtual machines that can execute smart contracts.
To understand how and why the CryptoKitty craze caught on, it’s important to first understand what differentiates Ethereum from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — and why it’s the most suited for growth.
What Are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts are essentially small programs that run based on the logic: “if this, then execute that.” When you combine multiple smart contracts together, you can create full-fledged applications that go well beyond basic transactions.
Ethereum turned itself into a blockchain technology rather than blockchain currency. It started a revolution that will change banking, coding, hosting, application development and security forever due to Dapps (decentralized applications).
What It Means to Be “Decentralized”
To be “decentralized” means applications don’t go down if a server farm goes out as the result of a bad upgrade or an employee error. The application runs within every miner’s machine or machines that are providing proof of work. We’re talking about thousands upon thousands of mining machines that are keeping the network running.
“Decentralized” apps also mean lower costs, higher uptime and irrevocable data. No single person can ever take down the whole system or change it without others verifying and agreeing to the changes.
So What Do Cats Have to Do With This?
Recently a web-based app called CryptoKitties was released and ran on top of the Ethereum network. Meant as an app that allows users to create and trade digital kitties with each other, it instead turned into an Ethereum slayer. The hit app has gone viral, collecting as much as $7 million dollars in trades. A single record-breaking cat was sold for $100,000!