What negative impact does the new “virtual kittens” craze have on Ethereum?

CryptoKitties is an electronic game from Canadian firm Axiom Zen innovation studio, where people can electronically buy, collect and trade cartoon cats.

They are rather seen as “collectibles”, rather than a cryptocurrency like bitcoin.

So how does this negatively affect one of the largest cryptocurrencies (Ethereum)?

The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain network.  Ethereum’s price hit an all-time high early in December after it increased its transaction speed.

Etherscan nevertheless reported a six fold increase in pending transactions on Ethereum since the game’s release, on 28 November.

“CryptoKitties has become so popular that it’s taking up a significant amount of available space for transactions on the Ethereum platform,” said Garrick Hillman, from the University of Cambridge.

He added: “Some people are concerned that a frivolous game is now going to be crowding out more serious, significant-seeming business uses.”

According to ETH Gas Station, the CryptoKitties game accounts for about 11% of network traffic on Ethereum. As traffic increases, transactions become more expensive to execute quickly.

“The real big issue is other major players looking for alternatives to Ethereum and moving to different systems,” Mr. Hillman said.

“There’s definitely an urgent need for Ethereum to address this issue.”

Crypto-Kitties’ growth rate is so tremendous it is disrupting the Ethereum network by creating network congestion and increasing traffic for all those using the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum has before now, been confidently boating of their ability to handle unlimited decentralized applications. However, this network disruption seems to be proving them wrong.

The Crypto-Kitties app itself seems capable of placing network processing into congestion. The volume of growth of these virtual cats is so tremendous that the Crypto-Kitties team had to announce via a tweet that, they will be increasing the birthing fee from 0.001 ETH to 0.002 ETH due to the congestion, to ensure that kittens are born on time.

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