ruletheworld

Nov 182018
 

This is a guest post from Chris McDonald of ICO Watchlist

2017 had been a great year for ICOs, in spite of the broader crypto bear market. Figures captured by ICOWatchList show that the 11 biggest ICOs achieved a return on investment (ROI) between 253% and 23,000%. The question many potential investors should be asking is: was this a one-off? To help answer this, some key indicators need to be factored in. Here are some indicators to help investors out –

Volume trend

The volume of ICOs held steady throughout 2016, rising and falling marginally. However, this was just a warm-up year to the explosion of new ICOs during 2017 Q2. Since then, the volume of ICOs has been accelerating exponentially on a month-to-month basis.

Capital flows trend

Capital flows mimic past ROI trends. If investors consider past ROI trends to have been positive, they are more likely to inject funds into ICOs. On the other hand, if they consider past trends to have been negative, they will either withdraw or shy away from funding new ICOs. According to CoinDesk, capital injection in ICOs in the first quarter of 2018 was 118% higher than during all of 2017.

Equity vs ICO (initial coin offering) trend

Initially, most funding for blockchain ventures was in the form of equity funding (venture capital). For example, according to Business Insider, in 2016 Q1, equity funding accounted for $17 million compared to ICO funding of only $12 million. In 2017 Q1, equity funding settled at $139 million after a consistent drop, while ICO funding settled at $38 million after a steady rise.

In 2017 Q2, ICO funding surpassed equity funding for the first time at $757 million against an equity funding value of $258 million. Whilst equity funding stagnated at $259 million in 2017 Q3, ICO funding shot up to $1.3 billion.

Clearly, ICOs have become the preferred investment vehicle for blockchain projects as compared to equity funding.

ICO vs VC (venture capital) Return trend

Research, based on historical data provided by CoinMarketCap, shows that ICO funding has overtaken VC funding. This is due to the 16% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) that ICOs offer investors compared to the CAGR from VC of only 10%.

Institutional vs Retail trend

At the beginning of the ICO phenomenon, most investors were small-scale retailers. This trend continued into early 2017; however, towards the end of 2017 to early 2018, there was an upturn in the value of institutional investment. As of mid-2018, institutional investors are leading retail investors—not in volume but in value. This is a positive indicator of investor confidence in ICOs.

Conclusion

The above indicators point to one conclusion: ICO success is going to continue for the foreseeable future. The ROI picture reflected by the infographic below should be enough to convince any doubting investor that ICOs are worth their consideration.

Infographic source: https://icowatchlist.com

11 Biggest ICO ROIs Of 2018

Photo Credit: Flickr

Nov 032018
 

Axie Infinity Crypto Game

This is an interview with Jeffrey Zirlin on the current state of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), crypto-gaming, and crypto-collectibles. Jeffrey aka Jihoz is an early CryptoKitties and crypto-gaming player. He’s currently part of the Axie Infinity team as their growth lead. As someone involved with multiple games/collectibles in the space as both a player and now working for a startup in the space, Jeffrey has some good insights to share, especially for those who may be new and are looking to understand the current NFT landscape on Ethereum.

You can read our interview with the Axie team in the past that is more specifically about Axie Infinity.

In the crypto gaming sphere so far, we see an interesting interplay between gamers that want active play and collectors that can be more passive. What’s your take on the right balance here?

Gaming ecosystems have had a mix of players and collectors for decades now. In my view, robust collectors markets emerge when you have the right mix of scarcity, utility, and aesthetics around your game assets. We’ve been quite focused on baking as much fun into Axies as possible(utility), while keeping the art quality high(aesthetics) and carefully managing the in-game economy of the universe(scarcity).

You’ve been a CryptoKitties player in the past and still own some valuable kitties. What do you think the CryptoKitties team has done right?

I think the CryptoKitties team did a good job with the artwork and having the inspiration/conviction to build a product around blockchain game assets without much of a previous demand signal for such a platform.

What are the driving factors for CryptoKitties in your view, and are they sustainable long-term?

I see CryptoKitties as a probability-driven artistic creation platform on the blockchain. Collectors drive the CryptoKitty market, just as collectors drive conventional art markets forward. The sustainability long term will depend on whether the game can continue to attract collectors with deep pockets– this most likely depends on how this whole experiment in decentralization and cryptocurrencies works out.

What types of games do you think would succeed in this space in the future and benefit the most from putting their in-game assets on the blockchain?

I believe games in the spirit of  Neopets or Pokemon will do best at first. These games will focus on the art style, collectible game-assets, building a strong grass-roots community, and basic but addicting game-play. MMO’s, in my opinion need to scale quite massively in order to be fun, so I think the talent and funding needed to pull one off are still years away.

When building Axies, how important is it for your team to have third-party developers build tools and additional uses for Axies?

Right now we have some amazing third party developers building analytics tools for Axie and they’ve helped so much with lightening the load on the dev team to help us focus on core gameplay. Freak, Onedayplay, and  Uselessz have built two great sites that I use on a daily basis.

https://freakitties.github.io/axie/

https://axie-infinity.coinmm.co/

https://axie-sales.kikoweb.ch

In addition, we are starting to see mini-games pop up that are serving as interesting content marketing tools for our game. For example, https://flappy-axie.herokuapp.com/ has been a fun way for our community to stay immersed in the Axie universe while they wait for their battle cooldowns to refresh and introduce new players to our artwork since the game does not require an Axie to try out.

What are the most interesting trends in your opinion with respect to the collectability of these NFTs, as the space has evolved?

I think it’s amazing that sale prices in some of the popular games are starting to rival the prices we see in Mainstream games like Magic the Gathering. For example, an Axie recently sold for 50 ETH, over $10,000, so prices are well on their way to eclipsing what we’ve seen with collectors items like the Alpha Black lotus from Magic the Gathering.

What advice would you give someone looking to enter the crypto-collectible/crypto-gaming space today in terms of how best to spend their money?

I think players/collectors should focus on analyzing the quality of artwork, the “fun” that the platforms for the specific NFTs provide, and making sure you are investing in a project that has a strong grassroots community of evangelists, hobbyists, and content creators..

Are there other games or use cases of NFTs that interest you today besides Axie/CK?

I’m interested in seeing how Loom Netowork’s Zombie Battleground app does as that will be a major testing point for the space and also provide some clarity around regulation around apps involving NFTs.

We’re already seeing an explosion of new games modeled after CK/Axies, and some are already shutting down or not performing well in regards to player activity. What does it take to survive and succeed in the long term in the space?

I think most of the games that have tried to replicate our success have made half-hearted attempts and lack the development speed, art quality, and strong community we’ve been able to cultivate. There are no shortcuts to success in this space and I think now that some of the early games have proven there’s a market out there for these types of games, some less talented actors are trying to enter the space. The big game studios are still sleeping at the wheel, content with their current business models.

You were an early pioneer with CryptoKitties gameplay. What’s your quick pitch to a CK player to give Axie Infinity a spin?

Axies are the first fully animated NFT’s with an engaging, animated battle system on the Blockchain. Also it only costs .002 to breed your Axies, so your creative juices can flow freely! In addition, battles are completely free.

The joy of breeding that perfect battler for your team is something I believe has eclipsed the thrills I used to experience in the Kittie universe.

Nov 022018
 

Slow Metamask Speed up Metamask

Are you experiencing a slow Metamask and looking to speed up Metamask while your browse the decentralized application (DApp) world? This guide will walk you through all the steps to get it up to speed.

Metamask has become a staple of the DApp ecosystem on Ethereum. It lets you interact with the Ethereum blockchain via a browser extension. This is really convenient as you don’t need to download Ethereum node, connect hardware wallets, or download other software. As a simple extension, it really is a browser’s gateway into Ethereum’s DApp world. Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave browsers.

But there is a big problem with Metamask – it gets really slow for power users. After a while, it seems to be taking longer and longer to load a transaction and send it to the network. When does it happen? It happens when you submit many transactions. This is especially the case for crypto-gamers that play games like CryptoKitties, Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, etc. since they submit many transactions. For example, CryptoKitties players in aggregate birthed over a million cats so far, each birth recorded on the Ethereum blockchain! Those are large numbers.

If this describes you, here are the action items that you can take now to speed up Metamask. Hopefully this makes your crypto-gaming experience smoother.

1. Reset Metamask Account

The very first thing to do with a slow Metamask account is to remove the transaction history. As the number of your Metamask transactions increases, your Metamask becomes slower. I think most users have already noticed that. If you have many transactions, the first thing is to ‘remove’ all these transactions. Since all your previous transactions are already sent to the Ethereum blockchain, there is no need to keep a history in your local Metamask.

How to reset Metamask Account?

Here are the steps you need to follow to reset your Metamask account:

First, click on your Metamask plugin to open the app. Below is how it appears on Brave. It is similar in Chrome and Firefox as well.

When the app opens, click on the circle on the top right corner of the app to display a menu.

Metamask Settings Screen

From the menu, click on the Settings at the bottom.

Metamask Reset Account Screen

Scroll to the bottom of the Settings, and you’ll see an option for ‘Reset Account’. Click on this button.

Metamask Confirm Reset Account

Metamask will ask you for a confirmation, along with telling you what exactly this ‘Reset Account’ feature is. “Resetting your account will clear your transaction history.” Click on the RESET to confirm. This will remove your transaction history and make Metamask run much faster.

2. Change Ethereum Network, and Change it Back

After you’ve done the reset account, you can try this other trick for slow Metamask. You will need to switch the network that your Metamask connects to. Don’t worry – you’ll change it right back to the main Ethereum network.

First, open your Metamask in your browser as shown above, and click on the dropdown at the top of the app that says ‘Main Ethereum Network’.

Metamask Network

Now change this to another option, such as Ropsten Network. You’re telling your Metamask to connect to a Ropsten node now instead of the Mainnet Ethereum.

Metamask Ropsten Network

After this, switch back to the ‘Mainnet Ethereum’ option to connect back to the mainnet Ethereum network.

This step ‘resets’ your Metamask connection to the main Ethereum network. It helps with, for example, flushing your transactions. You may have noticed for example that sometimes Metamask doesn’t tell you that the transaction has been confirmed. This step will force Metamask to recompute the transactions and give you a notification for when your transaction has been broadcast. Some DApps like CryptoKitties also recommend this step for some errors on their application. This is a handy little trick to not only speedup your Metamask but also update its state.

3. Disable, then Re-enable Metamask

In your browser extension/add-on section of Options/Settings, disable and then re-enable Metamask. This will likely ask for your password again, so make sure that you have your Metamask password handy. This step is helpful to ‘reload’ the Metamask extension, and helps speed up Metamask by restarting it, thus getting rid of its current state and restarting.

Here’s how you would do it on Brave, as an example (similar steps for Chrome and Firefox)

Go to Settings (three horizontal lines on the top right of your Brave browser), and click on Preferences

Brave Preferences for Metamask

Then go to Extensions on the left side, where you’ll see Metamask installed.

Brave Extensions Metamask

Under the ‘enabled’ column, disable (just click to disable) and then re-enable Metamask.

Note that when you do this, you’ll be asked to enter your password again. Make sure you have that handy before trying this step.

4. Close and Re-Open Browser

Sometimes your browser can take up an ungodly amount of memory on your RAM. Chrome is especially notorious for this. In these situations, Metamask will slow down as well. The best solution is to close your browser and re-open it. Make sure your browser settings are set to re-open all your sites, so you don’t lose your tabs when you restart.

When you do this, you will be asked for your Metamask password again.

In general, freeing up some computer RAM will make your Metamask faster as well, so close any large programs that you may not be using, especially browsers running in the background.

5. Change Browsers

As a final step, Metamask is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave currently. Try switching your browsers to make it faster. You can also exclusively use one of the browsers for all your DApp needs, and use another for regular browsing.

Hope at the end of this, you’re able to solve your slow Metamask issue. If not, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll try to help.

Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf

Oct 082018
 

Gods Unchained Guide

Gods Unchained is a new blockchain-based trading card game. It follows the tradition of classic Trading Card Games (TCGs) like Magic the Gathering combined with crypto-collectibles and games like CryptoKitties. Combining them provides a powerful recipe where the result is greater than the sum of its parts. Already, the most desirable card was put for auction that fetched a cool 146 ETH or $60,000. That’s before the game was even launched. Welcome to Gods Unchained.

The Appeal of Crypto

The cards in the Gods Unchained game are represented as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) which means unlike a cryptocurrency that aims for fungibility (all units of the currency being equivalent), the tokens here are unique and different from each other. Therefore, each card is somehow different from the every other card in the game and this can be shown on the blockchain. The data stored in the NFT is then used to provide the appropriate look and functionality for the cards inside the game.

Before we dive deeper, let’s first answer the question that is probably one we get the most often on this blog – why crypto? What benefits does the blockchain provide over a SQL database, as the question goes? The answer in the case of Gods Unchained and similar crypto-native in-game assets is quite simple – with the blockchain, you have true ownership of your assets in the game. In the case of Gods Unchained, this means you own your cards completely.

Once you acquire a digital card in the game, it is truly yours. No one, not even the team behind Gods Unchained can prevent you from trading that card, for example. The dynamic becomes similar to physical cards in a game like Magic The Gathering. As some of these assets can indeed become quite valuable in the future, having them on the blockchain means collectors know they truly own these assets. It is not just another entry in a database of a startup.

Gameplay Elements

Gods Unchained has everything gamers aspire to. The game has various strategic elements where players need to apply skill (i.e. it is not just random chance). Also, the game visuals are stunning – just go check those out yourself to be the judge. The game is free to play for the basic cards, so accessible to really anyone with an internet connection. Players compete from around the world in a very real sense.

For any advanced cards, players truly own their assets in their Ethereum wallets – not even Gods Unchained team can take that away from you. There is a precedence for a healthy secondary market for these digital assets that players can use even after launch.

Then finally there is real tournament play, with 20,000 tickets already sold out. The pot for the tournament currently stands at around $350,000. That’s real money with real players right there.

If you’re a trading card game enthusiast, you’ll probably love what Gods Unchained has to offer.

Technology

We already mentioned the killer graphics, but there is much more to the technology behind the Gods Unchained game than meets the eye on the website. We’re talking about the blockchain for gameplay of course.

There are various schools of thought here, but in our opinion, Gods Unchained strikes the right balance between on-chain and off-chain elements. This is because blockchains are not yet ready for prime-time scalable applications. We’ve seen that play out in games like CryptoKitties that can become popular and cause an Ethereum network wide congestion, driving up costs to play to significant levels.

In Gods Unchained, the gameplay is offline on centralized servers. This means if there is a popular ICO going on, then players don’t need to wait for 2 days for gas prices to normalize. Also, playing can be free and not pay a huge amount of money to the miners. However, the assets are still held on the blockchain in your personal wallet, so the rare cards are not sitting on a central server somewhere but under your ownership.

The team behind Gods Unchained already has some experience with this – they were the team behind Etherbots, which caused a stir during release but died down due to expensive on-chain gameplay. The team seems to have learned the lessons from that well, and implementing it in their technology behind Gods Unchained.

The VCs are Circling

The VCs are quite interested in the whole NFT space. CryptoKitties raised $12 million from the top venture capitalists in the world – Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz among others. Marketplaces like Rarebits and OpenSea have raised over $1 million to create marketplaces for all sorts of NFTs. Fuel Games has already raised a $2.4 million venture round.

In addition to venture funding, the company has sold over $1 million in pre-sale cards already, and still counting. This is all raised from real players who are interested in participating in the game, not just institutions. This really shows that players are ready to invest not just their time but their money into the game.

Check out Gods Unchained here. You can still buy pre-sale cards right now.

Oct 072018
 

Axie Battle Feature Release

Axie Infinity, a crypto-game and collectible digital pet game on the blockchain, has launched its much awaited battle feature on the Ethereum mainnet. With this deployment, the feature is live for all players to use. The release follows months of testing internally and via limited and public beta with the community.

The battle feature lets players battle their Axies in an arena, 3 at a time, against an opponent. Axie battles are a complex mix of moves, statistics, and randomness, making them strategic and also including a component of luck.

Next Level of Crypto-Gaming

With the release of the battle feature, Axie Infinity distinguishes itself from the other crypto-gaming platforms like CryptoKitties. With the battle feature, players can actually improve their Axie over time through gameplay. This is a fairly novel implementation in the crypto-gaming space although it is common in regular gaming spheres.

With the battle feature, Axie Infinity has shown that it can become a real gaming platform instead of only a digital collectible. The Axies that participate in battles gain experience points or EXP. EXP is required for certain game features such as breeding and leveling up for the Axies. The Axies of the winning team gain 30 EXP whereas the Axies of the losing team gain 15 EXP. There is a limit of 3 battles every 12 hours per Axie.

Players are better off entering their Axies in a battle even if they lose against a stronger opponent. There is no indication of whether the battles can be fought for higher stakes than just EXP, such as Ether itself. For example, the more recent addition to crypto-gaming, Gods Unchained, has tournament play for Ether.

On and Off Blockchain

The ownership of the Axie is still on the Ethereum blockchain which means that Axie players are able to hold their Axies in their own custody instead of the company holding the assets. The Axies themselves are represented as a non-fungible token i.e. each token that represents an Axie has unique parameters.

However, the tournament play itself is offline on Axie Infinity’s servers. This provides for a significantly better gaming experience for the players as there are no delays and there is no cost to battle for the players. This also helps prevent gaming issues due to a congested blockchain due to scalability issues.

In the future, Axie Infinity plans to run their game on a plasma chain provided by Loom. Plasma enables applications like games to run on a separate ‘chain’ as a sidechain instead of taking up space on the main Ethereum chain. Several implementations of plasma are expected to go live over the coming months on Ethereum.

Oct 012018
 

Gods Unchained

We had the opportunity to interview Tyler Perkins of Gods Unchained. For those who are out of the loop, Gods Unchained is a new crypto-game that has been the talk of the NFT town. It is a crypto trading card game where the cards are stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which means players ultimately own their in-game assets. It has already amassed an impressive pre-sale of assets. The top card has already sold for an impressive $60,000 – even before the game launched! The team is an impressive array of gaming and crypto veterans.

Check out the Gods Unchained game to learn more and participate.

Tell us a little bit about the team behind Gods Unchained and Fuelgames

Currently we have 18 people working full time and nearly 100 contracted artists. Every full-time member on our team has a technical background (from various backgrounds) and most of us are TCG fanatics having played them for years.

What are some of the features of Gods Unchained that you’re most excited about?

I think everyone on the team is excited about different things for different reasons, but generally speaking trading is one of the features we’re most excited about given it’s one of the main value propositions of tokenization.

How much of the gameplay is run directly on Ethereum versus things running on your own servers?

Game assets such as cards and cosmetics will be stored on Ethereum, while the game itself runs entirely off-chain to ensure the highest deliverable performance.

We’ve seen some spikes in gas prices on Ethereum that have disrupted user experience. Any thoughts on how you see scaling in light of games like Gods Unchained being released on Ethereum mainnet?

It’s really up to game developers to ensure their games scale and the user experience isn’t broken under these situations. As we’ve witnessed multiple times in the past, you can’t yet rely on Ethereum’s performance, which is why we’ve developed solutions to both mitigate the frustrations these events have on players as well as moved gameplay off-chain.

CryptoKitties got a lot of mainstream media attention late last year. Did that surprise you? How did you view the success of CK and how did it affect any decisions in Gods Unchained?

It wasn’t really a surprise given how novel crypto-collectibles were and how well Axiom Zen executed on it. CK was a major inspiration for us as it provided the ah-ha moment that gaming would be a killer application within the industry.

You’re also the team behind Etherbots correct? What lessons did you learn from your experience of Etherbots? Would you consider Etherbots a success?

It taught us how hard building games on Ethereum is, and provided us with an environment to develop best practices and architectural solutions to overcoming many of the blockchains limitations.

Tell us a bit more about the Gods Unchained World Championship.

We haven’t announced much about the World Championship yet, stay tuned!

How do you enable free playing of the game, while there are cards that are in demand and trading in the marketplace?

The core set is our untradable free to play set. You receive core cards when you create an account and can earn others through gameplay. Unlike cards you find in packs, core cards are not ERC721’s as we want to minimize the friction new players encounter when trying to play the game for the first time.

Tell us a bit more about how new cards are generated, and how players can acquire them.

We will have 4 seasons every year, where each season we release approximately 100 new cards that can be found inside packs. Once a season ends, the cards found that season are no longer minted. Players will have the ability to earn tradable cards for strong gameplay performance.

Sep 232018
 

This is a guest post from Alex Fleming

ICO Pool

What is an ICO Pool?

An ICO Pool is referred to as the collection of several investor funds – that are pooled together with the primary intention of making an investment in some ICO. The ICO pools are usually overseen by some group of individuals which manages the contributions made forward by each investor. Upon participating in any ICO pool, the pool of investors is usually given the access to the research of the pool. This offers them the opportunity to assess the overall quality of any ICO pool by themselves.

While most of the ICO pools would want you to make a good deal of investment as the minimum amount to ensure the private sale, as an individual investor it might turn out feasible to do the same. However, as you might know, that a majority of the benefits come with the private sale. As such, you might start looking out for other investors or friends to make the combined investment –in the hope to receive the given benefits. 

However, soon enough it turns out that finding other investors to come & join your idea of ICO might not only turn out to be time-consuming, but also not so realistic. As such, the best option out there that exists for you is to join a reliable ICO pool or the investment pool – with an already existing group of ICO experts along with several other individual investors. 

Types of ICO Pools

The typical ICO pools are usually categorized into two forms:

  • Trustless ICO Pools
  • Non-Trustless ICO Pools

The Trustless ICO pools are known for making use of the smart contracts for ensuring that no single party exercises direct control over the respective funds of the investors. As a result, this would consequently require no specific trust to be placed in the involved individuals who might be managing the particular ICO pool. The Ether is sent to the particular smart contract address – displaying the ICO address of the recipient along with another important piece of information.

The smart contract turns out to be an open-source medium. As such, the investors can review the overall validity of the available smart contracts before sending over any funds. After the completion of the respective pooling process, the Ether is then directly sent to the Ethereum address of the ICO. The investors then receive the specific ICO tokens in proportion to the respective initial investment.

On the other hand, the non-trustless ICO pools do not make use of the smart contracts. Instead, these pools are known to mandate the fact that the overall collection of the funds from the investors are done by the respective pool managers. The investors are responsible for sending the funds to some Ethereum address as specified by the pool managers. The pool managers then have the responsibility of redistributing the tokens that have been received to the respective correct investors. 

Working of the ICO Pools

The ICO pools are regarded as the proper responses to the increasing trend of the respective ICOs aimed at raising the individual required amount of investment – referred to as private presales. The private presales are usually closed to the general public. These are specifically opened only to the venture capitalist firms or Angel investors including investors or individuals who are able to afford the investment of a large sum of money.

Most of the ICOs in the recent times are selecting the option of suspending the public sale – occurring after the private presale. This is because this helps them in raising the overall required investment during the presale stage. Due to this, most of the retail investors out there find that they are mostly unable to make investment in a particular project that they find interesting. As such, through participation in the ICO pool, a specific retail investor could rapidly increase the overall bargaining power through the aggregation of the funds and investment of the funds along with other individuals in the given pool.

Because ICO pools could be identified as the simple aggregation of the funds from the investors, the ICOs have nowadays started to offer lucrative pre-sale discounts & offers to any given pool that could be interested in making an investment into the particular project. As such, there are higher chances that a retail investor might receive more tokens by investing in an ICO pool, than investing on their own.

How to Join an ICO Pool?

If you are considering joining an ICO pool, it is vital to know & understand which ICO pool should be the best decision to join. This is because there are several numbers of fake ICO pools and investment groups out there that could make you fall into the respective traps. Once you know that you have come across the right, reliable ICO pool – the one that fits your budget and personal requirements, you can simply visit the specific website and become a member of the same. There are some ICO pools out there that tend to offer a premium membership with additional bonuses and offers like the lifetime free membership, unlimited free trading signals, and so on after you have submitted the initial joining fee.

Pros of ICO Pools

  • Access to the Resources of the Pool: On the basis of the specific ICO pool that you join, the investors are mostly granted access to the respective resources of the pool. This allows them to analyze the overall merits of the target ICO pool for themselves. 
  • Potential ICO Offers & Discounts: As discussed above, due to the involvement of large sums of money as raised by the respective ICO pool, some of the ICOs out are incentivizing increased investments in the projects by offering lucrative discounts and offerings to the investors. Such discounts might help the investors to participate in the given ICO pool if the main motive is the maximization of the tokens under their ownership. 

Conclusion 

Participating in the ICO pools out turns to be lucrative, however, they might come with potential risks at the same time. Therefore, you must conduct proper in-depth research before investing in any ICO pool. To get the most of your ICO membership, learn all that you need to know about ICO pools and their work. How has ICO pool investment been useful to you? Leave your valuable comments below!

About the Author

My name is Alex Fleming and I am a full stack and blockchain solution developer. I have 7 years of experience. I can help you with launching ICO, creating own crypto etc. I see the future in blockchain technology and I like it. The last 2 years I have been working in this field. I think blockchain will transform the world in the future not only in the financial sector.

Sep 122018
 

CryptoKitties, the popular gaming and collectible app where players breed cats on the Ethereum blockchain has reached the one million cat milestone – less than a year after launch. The game became hugely popular in December 2017, coinciding with the peak of the crypto bubble. It has subsequently lost over 90% of the players active at the peak. However, a set of core players continue to breed and collect CryptoKitties.

On the back of its December success, the company behind CryptoKitties, Axiom Zen, raised a $12 million round led by the famed venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. During the same time, the game’s popularity led to a significant increase in fees on Ethereum.

Beyond the Hype

Although interest in the game has waned since the peak, the game continues to attract new users. Just last week, collectors bid up the prices of #1 fancy cats in the game to as high as 30 ETH per cat. CryptoKitties was one of the first blockchain games to master the correct use for ERC721 non-fungible tokens. Since its launch, many copycats have launched without much success.

Axiom Zen encouraged players to breed more to reach the one million cat milestone. This was done via a giveaway of 20 exclusive cats. Exclusive cats have a custom artwork on the frontend instead of the appearance of the cat being determined by the genes. These are generally valued by collectors due to their rarity. ‘Kitten Mittens’, the most prolific breeder in the game, won the first exclusive during this giveaway.

Vulcant exclusive cryptokitties

Leading the Way

CryptoKitties continues to be one of the most popular applications built on Ethereum. The success of CryptoKitties has encouraged many other entrepreneurs to work on gaming products on the blockchain. The advantage of using the blockchain is that players are in control of their in-game assets. How much of a game changer this is for traditional online games remains to be seen. The trade-off is the cost. For example, in CryptoKitties, it takes 0.008 ETH to breed a single cat.

Other games are exploring ways to minimize the cost of gameplay by handling more of the interactions off-chain. Even though the ‘genetic’ data of the cats in CryptoKitties is stored on the blockchain, the actual image of the cat isn’t and the ‘owners’ don’t actually have the rights to that image.

Gaming vs. Collectables

CryptoKitties has tried to balance the collecting aspects with the gaming aspects from the beginning. Most of the high value transactions on CryptoKitties tend to be from collectors or speculators. Axiom Zen has introduced ‘fancies’ in the game as a way to encourage continued breeding. ‘Fancies’ are cats with a specific pre-determined trait combination, as determined by the company. This information is not decentralized or stored on the blockchain, however. These fancy cats have their special custom artwork.

These fancy cats also tend to be one of the most expensive set of cats to be traded. This is because of their special artwork and also because the number of fancies of each type are limited.

As CryptoKitties continues to gain traction, there are third-party applications being built on top that help players with the game or for the collecting aspect of it.

Aug 292018
 

CryptoKitties, the popular game of breeding and collecting cats on the Ethereum blockchain, has seen a huge surge of sales over the last couple of days, driven by demand for its ‘fancies’. According to the community created website Kitty Explorer, over 693 fancy cats changed hands within the last week, with the maximum price of 20 ETH.

Fancy cats are special cats created in the CryptoKitties app that can be bred using a specific combination of genes until a limit is reached (limit can be time-based or total number of fancy cats based). Fancy cat recipes are created by Axiom Zen, the creator of CryptoKitties, and is not recorded on the blockchain per se. The actual ownership of the cats in CryptoKitties is recorded on the blockchain, and players use third-party extensions like Metamask to buy, sell, and breed the digital cats.

CryptoKitties received a lot of press in December 2017 when a single cat sold for over $100,000. For a while, its popularity caused significant delays on the Ethereum blockchain and increased the gas price. Since those days, however, the activity on the game has dropped precipitously.

Fancy Cat Craze

Over the last two days, even though the number of players measured by unique addresses hasn’t gone up much, the total sales volume has exploded. This has mostly been due to a few CryptoKitties players valuing specific ‘fancies’ – the ones that were the earliest created. Axiom Zen marks the fancies in the order in which they were bred. The first created fancies of each type are suddenly being valued at significant amounts.

Players have sold the #1 fancy cats for over 20 ETH over the last two days – over $5000 per cat. This may seem like a far cry from its heyday. However, many ordinary players have participated in these fancy sales over the last few days. At least when it comes to the fancy market, CryptoKitties may just be bucking the broader crypto bear market.

Value in the Eyes of the Beholder

CryptoKitties has several dimensions of rarity for the cats. Collectors value different things in the cats, from generation to genes. Fancy cats have a unique appearance on the CryptoKitties app and are therefore valued higher by collectors.

Up until now, most of the fancy cats were valued based on generation and condition. A lower generation was usually valued higher, and cats in mint condition, i.e. cats that hadn’t bred, were valued higher. Over the last few days, however, collectors began swooping up lower numbered fancies irrespective of their generation and condition. Part of the reason may be due to a leader-board created at cryptokitties.city website, managed by a community member.

Whether the trend can last remains to be seen. For one, new fancy cats are minted at the discretion of Axiom Zen, and therefore there is no limit per se to the number of #1 fancies. This is unlike the fancy cats themselves that have a limit. For example, the rarest fancy cat in the game is Schrodinger Cat – only 73 of those exist and can ever be created.

There may also be a rebalancing of value within the game. Factors like generation and condition may once again become more important in valuing fancy cats. At the end of the day, however, cats are as valuable as collectors and speculators are willing to pay for them. If collectors value specific attributes more than others, the market will follow. Right now, it seems like that is lower numbered fancies.

Aug 122018
 

This is a guest post by Mike McCormick

Investors venturing into cryptocurrencies are currently facing a significantly volatile market. The crypto trading market, which includes Bitcoin among other coins, almost crumbled on June 22 when most coin prices dropped by up to 10% after two exchanges in Japan were hacked within 11 days.

Losses in billions of dollars are not quite uncommon in the cryptocurrency market cap. In December of 2017, Bitcoin hit a high of $20,000 only to drop to $8,500 by mid-March 2018. Cryptocurrencies have seen significant losses mainly due to hacker activities and other security concerns. Investors seeking to dip their feet in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, should have a good understanding of the volatile nature of the crypto market and how to manage this volatility.

If you trade in crypto coins, expect volatility, in fact lots of it. For instance, while a 5% movement in a single day in other traditional equities such as stocks is quite a big deal, a 20% movement in the cryptocurrency market in a day is practically normal. That’s the nature of cryptocurrency trading. You can check the exact price of different coins at different times or days in a good online cryptocurrency converter to understand the volatile nature of this market. Keep in mind that blockchain technology is still at an experimental stage so the possibility of a digital asset rising or dropping value considerably should not come as a surprise.

Understanding Cryptocurrency Volatility

Volatility is one of the most common measures of investment risk. It is basically a dispersion of both upside and downside return of an investment. Without going into more complicated mathematical equations involving daily standard deviations and square roots, let’s just say that the higher the volatility, the higher the potential to make gains or losses in a trade. Most cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin have a volatility of 100%, some as high as 200% or more. The risk of high volatility can be beneficial in determining the success or failure of your cryptocurrency trades.

When you’re analyzing the expected direction of conventional assets such as ETFs and stocks, you can always rely on technical analysis and past behavior to base your decision on. However, technical analysis functions are somehow limited when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Fluctuating prices of Bitcoin this year so far have proven that the cryptocurrency market does not behave in a predictable logical manner. So how does an investor manage market volatility when dealing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

Here are a few tips and insights to guide help you manage volatility:

Do Your Due Diligence Before Investing

While analyzing cryptocurrencies, you won’t find as much fundamental key selling points in websites, whitepapers, and other publications. The direction and momentum of the market are influenced by FUD and FOMO sentiments. FUD refers to the spread of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) mostly through the media while FOMO is basically Fear of Missing Out on a lucrative deal. These are fear-based factors that should not be your friend in cryptocurrency trading. Given the significant influence of FOMO and FUD sentiments, market analysis in cryptocurrency trading is only meant to give you a basic idea of the direction and momentum of different coins so you don’t dive into the market blindly like a headless chicken.

It is therefore important to conduct your due diligence beyond the current hype on cryptocurrencies to make sound investment decisions. With due diligence, you’ll know if a coin has viable functionalities, usage, and demand to justify its survival on the market. You’ll also understand the reasons for its current volatility and whether or not it has long-term prospects.

Make Good Use of Stop Loss Orders

A stop-loss order is a setting found in some trading exchanges or platforms such as Coinbase. The setting tells the exchange to sell a pre-set maximum amount of Bitcoin from your account when the price reaches a specific level. You only need to specify the price level and amount of Bitcoin to sell from your account then activate the setting. The downside of stop-loss orders is that you will miss out on profits when the price rises again. However, it protects you from significant losses when prices fluctuate drastically.

Holding For Long-Term Benefits

If you are in the cryptocurrency market for the long haul, the daily price movements should not be a cause for concern or alarm. You’ll be able to easily check the upward or downward movement and make the right decisions along the way. For example, you could see a gradual upward movement in the past three months despite the prices looking shaky every day. You’ll be able to comfortably judge the trend according to a long-term analysis, unlike the trader who is constantly worried by fluctuating daily movements.

Use the Available Tools              

There are many traders who base their decisions on gut feelings and later wonder why things didn’t go their way despite their best efforts to judge the market. You can easily get the guesswork out of your trading activities by taking advantage of the available tools. The tools help you to make data-based decisions and even measure the performance of each decision you make. Use tools to set the limit of orders to minimize losses or even get a notification on your mobile phone when a given cryptocurrency goes higher or lower than your pre-set price threshold.

Conclusion

Volatility is inescapable in cryptocurrency markets. It is the nature of the beast. You can capitalize on volatility to make successful trades if you stay on top of the game. Avoid greed, the number one cause for failed cryptocurrency failures. The market is extremely fast paced where the price of a coin can go as high as 5 to 10 times in a few hours then drop considerably. It’s quite easy to get caught in a high-chase and end up making impulsive decisions in search of a high payout. Don’t forget that a quick reversal trend that could lead to outsized losses is possible as well. The important thing in managing volatility is to understand your risk appetite and manage it by treading the waters with caution.

Mike McCormick is the founder of CoinChiefs. He studies Business and Economic Reporting at New York University. He has a very good experience in crypto mining and loves to analyze anything crypto-related which makes him sit up and pay attention.

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