NBA Superstar Stephen Curry Gets Special Edition CryptoKitties in Deal
CryptoKitties is creating three special edition cats based on the NBA star Stephen Curry. The partnership between the basketball star marks the first celebrity-branded CryptoKitties ever produced by the blockchain game maker, demonstrating its growing ambitions.
Droppin’ a Three on the Crypto Game Space
There will be three different Stephen Curry-branded CryptoKitties, the first of which is being auctioned off today, May 7th, on the CryptoKitties site.
Steph Curry x CryptoKitties collab! Check out out these one of a kind licensed sports digital collectibles at https://t.co/yU86XIAyWV. We’re also giving away a free CryptoKitty!
— CryptoKitties (谜恋猫) (@CryptoKitties) May 7, 2018
Curry is selling the first kitty, Steph Fur Three, from his personal account for 98.5 ether, or the equivalent of around $73,000 USD. The Golden State Warriors star guard is free to decide what to do with the other two CryptoKitties, said Caty Tedman, head of partnerships at CryptoKitties to Coinbase.
In addition to the three Curry-branded cats, ten other CryptoKitties will be given away as part of the promotion. The deal also involves a partnership with AppMoji, who make emoji collections. They previously worked with Curry to create Stephmoji, which became for a time the most popular paid app on the Apple App Store in 2016.
CryptoKitties Steps Up Its Game, But Challenges Await
The announcement marks the first major news from Vancouver, Canada-based CryptoKitties since it was spun off from parent company Axiom Zen back in March. The spin-off included a $12 million investment from venture capital heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. That deal came after the initial success of CryptoKitties last November, when it severely clogged up the Ethereum network while temporarily becoming most popular dApp and attracting significant mainstream media coverage.
Those technical issues and the unproven business model of Cryptokitties had many raising their eyebrows at the size of the deal. That isn’t to say that CryptoKitties hasn’t enjoyed success, however. From its launch until March 2018, it made more than $40 million in transactions completed by over 1.5 million players, according to VentureBeat. And, famously, many of the early CryptoKitties sold for the equivalent of more than $100,000 of ether. The Silicon Valley venture firms investing in CryptoKitties must see a bright future in blockchain collectible space, but it remains to be seen whether the company can leverage its early success into a sustainable business.
CryptoKitties uses an Ethereum token based on the ERC-721 standard. These kinds of tokens are non-fungible, meaning they can be uniquely identified and tracked on Ethereum’s blockchain. They are seen as a way to facilitate the collection of digital assets, of which CryptoKitties are the prime example. However, the idea of non-fungible digital assets could be extended to allow for the resale of digital music or eBooks by users.
Though CryptoKitties attracted a lot of attention at its launch, interest has appeared to wane since then. According to Kitty Explorer, sales per day reached a high of nearly 17,000 in early December but have been under 2,000 since February. The company must be hoping that the marketing power of one of the biggest sports stars in the United States will further popularize its product. However, success has its risks, as increasing user interest in CryptoKitties could again threaten to overwhelm the Ethereum network, which is still working on developing scaling solutions that could allow it cope with increased transaction rates.
Have your say — do you think we’ll be seeing more partnerships like this one? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via CryptoKitties, Sports Illustrated
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