Wikileaks is now in the business of selling digital cats. How far the mighty have fallen. You might remember CryptoKitties, which took off just a few short weeks ago — although this exhausting year makes it feel much, much longer.
It's an application built on top of the Ethereum cryptocurrency where users buy digital goods in the form of cats which they can then breed and sell in the hopes of a return on their investments. Dumb, right? Clearly a bubble built inside the greater bubble of cryptocurrency?
It rapidly became so popular it nearly grounded the entire Ethereum network to a halt, with individual cats selling for as much as $US100,000 ($129,587).
Wikileaks, the disgraced transparency organisation now believed to have been used as a conduit by Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, has decided to get in on the action, producing a litter from two cats: the orange, bucktoothed Mr. Wikileaks, and his distraught looking mate Mrs. Wikileaks.
Specially earmarked are two tokens, Trump's Tender Tabby and Clinton Console Kitty, which the organisation claims it's gifting to their respective namesakes. Add the former to a long list of mostly unrequited advances Assange has made on the Trump family.
The remainder of the litter is composed of eight kittens, seemingly named to generate maximum embarrassment for an organisation once thought of as a force for radical transparency in the face of unpopular and immoral military intervention overseas. They are as follows:
- NSA Spying Kitty
- Iraq War Kitty
- CIA Vault7 Kitty
- Syria Files Kitty
- CableGate Kitty
- Kremlin Spying Kitty
- TPP Kitty
- Afghan War Kitty
The 103 ETH price tag (today worth $US95,782 ($124,121)) might factor into why none so far have sold.
Wikileaks had its PayPal account frozen back in 2010 (it now receives PayPal money through an intermediary), and since then has developed alternate methods to accept donations. Its donations page is configured to receive Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero and ZCash — but not Ethereum, the currency CryptoKitties uses and is built on top of.
While all cats, digital or otherwise, deserve a good home, personally my concern lies with embassy cat.