Ethereum, the post-bitcoin provider that is providing access to blockchain for transactions such as contracts, identity, and other exchanges of value, recently became the host of the wildly popular CryptoKitties, a blockchain based collecting and trading game that is aiming to teach blockchain basics to a new generation.
But what exactly is it? Images of blockchain, also called a distributed ledger technology, look like little boxes with solid walls connected by lines. This image describes the way blockchain is understood- small units of information, distributed over a group of decentralized nodes, that are verified and confirmed autonomously. Much of the world looks at this description and scratches its head in confusion.
Information entered into the blockchain is verified across multiple platforms, confirmed, and them coded as private and unchangeable. It enters into a tiny safe, and only the owner has the key. And this pattern of tiny safes, holding a bit of information, is enlarged endlessly and connected to lots of other safes. We’re still all scratching our heads in confusion.
But we’re saved by CryptoKitties, an insanely cute game run on Ethereum, in which digital images of kitties can be changed, mixed, fiddled with, and then sold. There are eggs, out of which hatch new kitties, which now cause biologists to scratch their head in confusion. But the teenagers love them and understand how the game is played–and by playing the game, they are beginning to understand how blockchain works. They get the smart contracts, the transaction fees, the gas prices and the verification of transactions. They understand DApps and MetaMash.
Blockchain allows digital data to become unique and private, and thus it can have value, be engaged in commerce, be sold. The autonomous verification and confirmation of exchanges, contracts, and commerce are documented across multiple nodes. Cryptokitties is a gateway of the world into blockchain technology, and blockchain may be the key to the future.
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