Like you have apps on your smartphone – WhatsApp, Facebook, and so on – blockchain enthusiast are creating apps for decentralised systems. Decentralised applications (called dApps) run on the Ethereum blockchain as collections of “smart contracts” – autonomous transactions which are controlled by their own custom code. The first dApp to court mainstream attention was CryptoKitties, a game which saw players purchasing, breeding, and trading digital cats using cryptocurrency.

CryptoKitties saw massive success, and this started a flurry of activity in the world of dApp development. Decentralised applications are run by every node on the Ethereum blockchain and cannot be censored or controlled by centralised parties.

This makes smart contracts useful for applications such as loans and asset transferral. CryptoKitties and the games which have followed it leverage the immutability of the Ethereum blockchain by instantiating their assets as non-fungible tokens.

Each token is different and has its own set of attributes, from which it derives its value. It is important to note that when you receive a CryptoKitty by purchasing it from an Ethereum wallet, a token is actually sent to your wallet and cannot be manipulated by anyone else.

Even if the CryptoKitties website was destroyed and the company dissolved, you would still hold a CryptoKitty token in your wallet. Contracts built on the Ethereum blockchain are also visible to everyone and can only be adapted if permissions are published in the contract’s initial code. Read more from…

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