While the title may sound baffling, they actually are. CryptoKitties, a decentralized video game which runs on the Ethereum blockchain, has been clogging up the network. Transaction times are slowing as the game grows in popularity. Users have tripled their spending within the last day to over $3 million in total with in-app purchases to breed, buy and sell their kitties. These purchases are be made with Ethereum causing a high number of transactions.
The applications popularity has been wreaking havoc on the Ethereum networking and leading to a long transaction period. The developers of CryptoKitties have even increased the price to get new kittens in hopes to slow transactions. Ethereum developers are working to get the network running quicker and have said:
CryptoKitties is definitely a significant contributor to network congestion, and it may have been what pushed us over the edge from mostly-full blocks to full blocks in the last day or so.
The issue caused by a simple application exposes one of the biggest flaws with all cryptocurrencies which is the ability to scale. Many have acknowledged this issue and are working towards solutions. This instance will only further the necessity to quickly scale their services. When Ethereum is claiming to be a “world computer” and hopes to replace the internet but is having trouble supporting one popular application. The question looms if it can expand quickly enough and large enough to handle being a true world computer.
Despite the issues the application has caused, there are several positives to take away. The game is able to show the platform’s capabilities and proof of concept. The ability for users to pay with Ethereum shows the cryptos practical uses as well. The app in itself is a blessing in disguise as Ethereum was able to prove itself while discovering the extent of its problems.