Animoca hopes to cash in on NBA superstar edition of CryptoKitties game
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NBA Basketball star Stephen Curry has signed up to become a “CryptoKitty” — and ASX-listed game maker Animoca hopes to cash in.
CryptoKitties is a much-hyped game that allows players to breed and trade virtual kittens using cryptocurrency ethereum.
The app flourished in the western world at the height of cryptocurrency hype, but China was left out due to local regulations.
ASX-listed Animoca Brands (ASX:AB1) stepped in and acquired the China rights. It’s now rolling out a version that works on Apple phones and tablets.
Stephen Curry — a two-time “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) with San Francisco NBA team the Golden State Warriors — is auctioning off special edition CryptoKitties digital cats known as “CurryKitties”.
It’s one of the first times sporting memorabilia has been introduced to “blockchain gaming” and CryptoKitties’ Canadian developer Axiom Zen expects the collectibles will be highly sought after.
Blockchain is the technology all cyptocurrencies are built on. It provides a public ledger of transactions that can be used in many applications such as securing digital products and public records.
Animoca partnered with Axiom earlier this year to launch the virtual kittens in China.
Under the arrangement, AB1 is entitled to 30 per cent of net revenue generated by the CryptoKitties mobile app in the country.
In recent years, NBA has exploded in popularity in China – prompting recent media attention on his Chinese nicknames ‘Sprout God’ and ‘The Elementary School Student’.
“Steph Curry’s significant popularity in the region could drive interest and demand in China for CryptoKitties,” AB1 told the market on Tuesday.
The shares were trading up 6 per cent at 5c by 12pm AEST.
In the first month alone, the total value of transactions of CryptoKitties was about $US20 million ($25 million).
In December 2017, one CryptoKitties virtual cat sold for a record ETH 250 (approximately A$252,000 at present value).
The product has been a pioneer for the collectable asset class of cryptocurrencies – valuation of which Apollo Capital’s Henrik Anderson says is unique to other utility tokens or tokenised securities.