In the span of just three days, a user who goes by the name “Dapper Kittie,” made 462 ether (worth $210,000 at the time) trading CryptoKitties. What was his strategy? I recently did an informal interview with him over email to find out. Here’s how he did it:
Dapper Kittie initially got involved with Bitcoin in 2012 -- CoinMarketCap’s Bitcoin chart doesn’t even go back that far. He made his first purchase of Bitcoin through Coinbase in 2013 for about $20. He was an early enough user that when he reached out to customer support, the founder, Brian Armstrong replied. In fact, Coinbase hadn’t even hired their first employee, Olaf Carlson-Wee.
Fast forward to 2017. Dapper Kittie first learned about CryptoKitties when he saw a social media post about the 246 ether sale of the Genesis Founder Cat #1. This piqued his interest, but he was still hesitant to pull the trigger; he figured it was just a wash sale to generate hype. Nevertheless, he kept a close eye on the CryptoKitties market since he believed that this dApp had potential.
Part I: Buying Founder Cats
Through paying intermittent attention to the market, Dapper Kittie noticed that the demand for rare “Founder Cats” was gradually, but silently, ramping up. Founder cats were incredibly rare cats created by the CryptoKitties team to fund the development of the dApp. 100 of them were created and the team valued them based on their order: 250 ether for founder cat #1, 50 ether for founder cats #2-10, and 10 ether for founder cats #11-100. These values slowly decreased over time until they settled at a price floor.
Soon enough, Dapper Kittie noticed that several of these founder cats were being bought and resold for massive profits (for example, founder cat #88, was bought for 10 ether and resold for 78 ether).This resale inspired Dapper Kittie, so he decided to buy founder cat #42 (a reference to the popular novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) for 10 ether and founder cat #7 (we’re guessing because of lucky number 7?) for 50 ether.
With 60 ether committed, Dapper Kittie was temporarily satisfied with his CryptoKitties market exposure. That was, until he noticed two accounts had swooped in and bought a large number of the remaining low number founder cats. So, Dapper Kittie moved quickly to buy founder cats #45 and #47 just before every single founder cat was bought up. With these two addtional purchases, he’d invested 80 ether in total into the founder cats.
One of the accounts that was buying founder cats en masse went by the name “US Treasury”. Dapper Kittie saw US Treasury relist several 10 ether founder cats at 30 ether which sold quickly. Following in US Treasury’s footsteps, Dapper Kittie did the same with two of his 10 ether founder cats. Both were sold at 30 ether as well, tripling his investment. Not too shabby...
Meanwhile, the founder cats were getting increasingly expensive. Cat #2 was resold for 150 ether (which was cheap at the time considering that many of the single-digit founder cats were selling for 300+ ether). So, Dapper Kittie decided to up his own prices and sold cat #42 at 75 ether (a 65 ether profit) and cat #7 at a whopping 190 ether (a 140 ether profit).
Part II: Buying relisted Founder Cats
Having sold all of his original founder cats at a tremendous profit, Dapper Kittie decided to dabble in the secondary founder cat market: he started buying cheap founder cats being relisted by other traders. He had made enough money at this point that he only needed to play with house money.
One of the cats that he bought during this time was founder cat #23, which was purchased at 70 ether and resold by Dapper Kittie 24 hours later for 133.9 ether.
After flipping a few more secondary market cats, Dapper Kittie was ready to call it quits when a big opportunity jumped in front of him. Someone who evidently wasn’t paying close attention to the market decided to sell two founder cats for only 50 ether each, a far cry from the average market price of ~150 ether.
Unsurprisingly, Dapper Kittie jumped at the opportunity and amped up the gas he was willing to pay for his transactions to buy the two cats (the fee was peanuts compared to the amount of ether he was sending). The Ethereum network was congested at this point from the CryptoKitties mania and Dapper Kittie could only hope that no one was able to front run him. According to him, he was incredibly nervous during as he waited for his transactions to go through.
Luckily, he was able to nab both of the cheap founder cats for 50 ether each and resold them for 125 ether and 126 ether a couple hours later. In a comedic twist of fate, these two cats were both sold to the US treasury account mentioned earlier but have since not been bought by anyone since. The two cats are still listed for 100 ether today.
Part III: Getting out before the bubble pop
With most of his cats sold, Dapper Kittie was ready to call it quits. His last cat sold for 95 ether (25 ether profit). Luckily for him, the CryptoKitties bubble popped just a few days later with prices for the cats nosediving.
Dapper Kittie was apt enough to identify the mania and exited early enough with massive profits. In the end, he made 462 ether over the span of 3 days trading CryptoKitties. This was worth about $210,000 at the time. Definitely not bad for 3 days of trading.
So, what does Dapper Kittie do these days? He currently works from home as a cryptocurrency trader. When I asked him what he plans to do with his CryptoKitties profit, he said that he wants to give some to charity by donating to animal rescue and welfare groups.
And in case you’re wondering, here is his CryptoKitties address: https://etherscan.io/txs?a=0xa3e6fea802c91140b832127aea816ce78b0be0de&p=1
Follow the author on Twitter: @SOVCryptoBlog