Interview with Kim Cope Axiom Zen Product lead for Cryptokitties – C2 Montreal #C2M18

Kim Cope is Product lead for Cryptokitties which was developed Axiom Zen where she works.

Cryptokitties are breedable beanie babies

CryptoKitties is a game centered around breedable, collectible, and oh-so-adorable creatures we call CryptoKitties! Each cat is one-of-a-kind and 100% owned by you; it cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed.

CryptoKitties is one of the world’s first games to be built on blockchain technology—the same breakthrough that makes things like Bitcoin and Ethereum possible. Bitcoin and ether are cryptocurrencies, but CryptoKitties are cryptocollectibles. You can buy, sell, or trade your CryptoKitty like a traditional collectible, secure in the knowledge that blockchain will track ownership securely.

But, unlike traditional collectibles, you can breed two CryptoKitties to create a brand-new, genetically unique offspring.

Cryptokitties was released November 2017 and now has $24 million in transactions and individual cryptokitties have been auctioned for up to $140,000.

CryptoKitties is a distributed application (DApp). CryptoKitties is built on the Ethereum blockchain and the underlying game logic is powered by smart contracts. A decentralized application (Dapp, dApp or DApp) is an application that is run by many users on a decentralized network with trustless protocols. They are designed to avoid any single point of failure. They typically have tokens to reward users for providing computing power.

Other DApps
– Augur – prediction market
– Basic Attention Token – digital advertising network
– OmiseGO – open payment platform and decentralized exchange

CryptoKitties was developed in 3 months. When released it broke Ethereum because of the volume.
There are 1.5 million users and 880,000 Crypto Cats.

They are developing a KittyVerse.

There are 17 Apps built on top of Kitties. There is
Kitty Racers – for people to race kitties
Kitty Battles for people to fight their kitties
Kitty hats to add accessories to their kitties

Many of the Apps are leveraging the $2 billion market for ingame purchases. The blockchain is extending ingame purchases to span platforms. 1 in 700 gamers account for 50% of mobile game purchases.

Kitties provides complete ownership and the extensions continue the model of complete ownership and game extension.

On March 20, 2018, it was announced that CryptoKitties would be spun off into its own company and raised $12 million from several top venture capital firms and angel investors. The investment round was led by New York based Union Square Ventures and San Francisco based Andreessen Horowitz.

They had a bounty program for software solutions related to kitties and paid the winner in virtual cats. The winner auctioned a bounty prize cat for $110,000.

Crypto Assets- Non-fungible assets

They are a leading example of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs are a special type of cryptographic tokens where each token represents something unique and are thus the tokens are not interchangeable. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and many network or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.

They developed the ERC-721 token for non-fungible assests. There are ERC-721 conferences.

They are looking at ERC-721 for music and art and helping with payments to creators.

Real Estate is also non-fungible

Kim is working on a project with Axiom Zen and Sotheby’s. They are looking to simplify the document intensive processes in real estate.

They want to use blockchain to help find the right person and the right house.

Blockchain is being applied to title registries in many pilot projects around the world in different jurisdictions.

There are many areas and companies exploring applying blockchain to real estate.

Background on Kim Cope and Axiom Zen

Kim Cope is a Product Lead and Blockchain specialist at Axiom Zen, an award-winning venture studio that specializes in applying emerging technologies to unsolved business problems. Axiom Zen was named first among Canada’s Most Innovative Companies by Canadian Business.

Kim is part product manager, part UX/UI designer, and all problem-solver, Kim brings her talents to bear on everything from brand design to blockchain.

Kim worked as a Research Analyst at Raymond James, where she worked on cash management and analyzed stocks for Fortune 500 clients. She then moved on to a product manager role with a fintech startup, and in her spare time she founded Startup Skool. The edtech company helps educate youth on entrepreneurship, design thinking, and technology.

Products developed by Axiom Zen have touched 200+ million consumers and are used by the world’s leading companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and NASA, as well as by eminent academic institutions and government organizations. They pride themselves in diversity of talent: a team of ~80 creatives includes published authors, over a dozen former founders, diversity from 20+ national origins, and decades of collective experience at startups and Fortune 500s alike.

Axiom Zen has been working with bitcoin and various forms of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies since 2014. Currently, the company has two public projects in development: Cornerstone, a real estate transaction platform developed in partnership with Ross McCredie, former founder and CEO of Sotheby’s Canada, and Dave Carson, former COO at Sotheby’s Global; and CryptoKitties, the first and most successful game on the blockchain.

Axiom Zen has 95 employees. They are a venture studio looking at working on emerging technology projects like Machine Learning, AI, and blockchain.

For the last 6 months they have been focused on internal projects.

In blockchain they have developed tools such as transaction queues for speeding up transactions by managing the execution multiple transactions at the same time. They will release projects to open source.

They are working to make blockchain experience and applications more seamless for users.