Popular Ethereum App CryptoKitties Raises $12 Million in Series A Funding

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According to Tuesday, the series A financing round also featured personal investments from major tech characters such as Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant, and Zynga founder Mark Pincus.

Developed by Canada-based venture studio Axiom Zen, CryptoKitties is a decentralized program (DApp) that runs on the Ethereum network and enables users to collect, breed, and transaction digital cats. These felines are constructed as ERC-721 tokens, making them electronic collectibles that are uniquely identifiable and provably scarce.

«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, USV co-founder Fred Wilson wrote when announcing the firm's investment in CryptoKitties. „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.“

Since CCN reported, the game quickly became an overnight success, and at one stage CryptoKitties single-handedly obstructed the Ethereum network, leading at least one initial coin offering (ICO) — SophiaTX — to postpone its token sale.

Based on VentureBeat, CryptoKitites users have jointly conducted over $40 million worth of trades, and five cats have every sold for over $100,000 in ETH in the time of their sale.

CryptoKitties activity has diminished over the past several months, but the game remains the third most popular Ethereum DApp and has spawned a number of copycats (pun intended), including one developed by Chinese technology conglomerate Baidu.

In tandem with the financing round statement, Axiom Zen also revealed that CryptoKitties will spin off into its own venture.

»We envision a world of drama, one without limits," CryptoKitties said. «Where games could be entire economies, unlocking mutual incentives for players and builders to expand the gaming experience.»

«The future is meow,» the company concluded.