What is Genopets crypto and why is it going viral right now?

Published: 10th August, 2022 | Last Updated: 19th September, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

I see more and more people talking about Genopets crypto these days.

Remember the recent bull run when there were 10 new crypto projects every day?

Everyone seemed to be intimately familiar with the latest “thing”. The fear of missing out was extremely stressful.

With the recent uptick in the market, I am now experiencing the same thing. New tokens I have never heard of are popping up on my Twitter feed.

But this time I am going to be prepared. And through this post so are you.

Genopets crypto
A Genopet

Once Genopets crypto fully launches, people will be talking about it big time.

And here is why.

1/10. What is Genopets crypto?

Genopets Crypto is a move-to-earn NFT game built on Solana and inspired by the Tamagotchi and Pokémon Go series.

Huh? Come again?

OK, let’s take things step by step.

Now pay attention because Genopets draws heavy inspiration from what I am about to say.

2/10. Firstly, what is Tamagotchi?

If you weren’t a child in the late 90s US or Japan you may not have heard of Tamagotchi.

Tamagotchis are digital pets you wear on a keychain. Primarily marketed to girls, they became extremely popular.

The keychain has three buttons that you use to take action to raise your pet.

If you do not take care of your pet, it dies.

But if you take proper care, such as feeding it, making it happier, and disciplining it then your pet evolves over time.

Photo of a Tamagotchi keychain
A Tamagotchi. Source: Wikipedia.org

For example, your will need to potty train your pet.

You know your pet needs to go to the bathroom when stink lines appear. If you press a button your pet goes to the toilet.

After a few repetitions, you’ve trained your pet.

If, however, you don’t train your pet, it will leave droppings all over the screen.

If you don’t clean the droppings your Tamagotchi might fall sick and won’t be able to eat.

Pretty awesome and disturbing at the same time.

Over time the game evolved: Tamagotchi devices now communicate with each other when they are close by.

You can exchange gifts or even marry and breed a new Tamagotchi. You can also collect virtual Gotchi points and purchase items in an online store.

Since its inception, Tamagotchi has sold 82 million keychains.

3/10. Secondly, what is Pokémon Go?

Even I had heard of this one!

I remember the game exploding in 2016 when people were walking into street lights as they obsessively hunted for Pokémon with their phones.

The game uses augmented reality and GPS technology to send players on a hunt to capture Pokémon.

Once you capture a Pokémon you can train it and use it in battle against other Pokémon.

Photo of someone finding a Pokémon
A player has found a Pokémon using their phone. Source: Wikipedia

The Pokémon characters are part of a Nintendo media franchise.

What started off in 1996 as a video game has become a massive franchise with an anime tv series, a film, a trading card game, manga comics, music, toys, and other merchandise.

There was even a theme park at some point.

Pokémon Go is free to play but you can purchase various items in-app.

To capture a Pokémon out in the wild you use a Poké ball.

As you progress Pokémon become rarer and harder to catch.

You may need to buy more powerful Poké balls or use Incense to attract them to your location.

When you start off the game you customize your avatar.

A Pokémon avatar
A Pokémon avatar

Next, you use a map to navigate to PokéStops to find Pokémon.

Each Pokémon comes equipped with an innate Combat Power.

After you catch a Pokémon you receive Candies and Stardust.

You can use both to increase your Pokémon’s Combat Power but you can only use Candy to evolve your Pokémon.

To make the game more nuanced there are different types of candy that are suited to each Pokémon.

But the main aim of the game is to evolve and increase your Combat Power.

As you play you gain Experience Points (XP) which raise your trainer level to unlock new features.

Once you reach level 5 you can visit a Pokémon Gym where you can participate in king-of-the-hill team matches.

Alternatively, you can go on a raid with others to fight a single very powerful Pokémon.

You can also engage other users around the world in single combat.

In 2021, there were about 70 million active players of Pokémon Go.

4/10. So what exactly is Genopets crypto?

Genopets is a game that draws heavy inspiration from both Tamagotchi and Pokémon Go.

Tamagotchi in the sense that you build an emotional connection with your Genopet.

And Pokémon in that it encourages physical activity to evolve your Genopet and battle others.

As I was typing this article my son walked by and looked at the screen. He is 9 and I don’t expose him much to video games.

He said, “Heeeey! That’s like Pokémon”.

I said, “What!? How do you know that? “.

He said, “I know because there is a thing called evolving and see it looks like Pokémon and see it is evolving”.

If my son gets it then surely experienced gamers will find Genopets intuitive to play.

If you are clueless like me, continue reading to get a sense of how the game works.

Genopet crypto evolving
What my son saw on the screen: a Genopet evolving. Source: Genopets.me

What is the goal of the game?

The underlying goal of the game is to encourage you to adopt a healthier lifestyle by incentivizing you to move.

The more steps you take as measured by the pedometer on your phone or watch, the more points you earn.

As you earn points you can use them to evolve your Genopet.

Each Genopet is a procedurally generated NFT.

If you don’t know much about NFTs then I would encourage you to read my explanation, “What is Ape Coin“, where I describe NFTs in more detail with many examples.

But in a nutshell, “procedurally generated” means there is an algorithm that is generating these NFTs based on the input that you provide.

The input comes from answers to a personality test you take when you sign up.

This means that your Genopet NFT is 100% customized to you.

Each Genopet is an mp4 video file of a rotating creature.

As you play the game you can evolve it by adding wings, horns, eyes, antennae, manes, tails, etc.

The modular features of a Genopet
The modular features of a Genopet

Great I am going to hook it up to my dog

Nah mate you can’t do that.

If the first idea to enter your mind was that you can hack the game by attaching your pedometer device to your dog, rest assured that the Genopets team is putting systems in place to ignore or penalize such behavior.

They will be checking the data for unusual cadences and walking patterns.

Nicely played though! I also had the same thought.

5/10. OK, so how do you actually play Genopets crypto?

First, you need to move. By move, I mean predominantly walk. You can also run or dance but mostly it’s about clocking those steps on your pedometer.

When you start walking each step is converted 1:1 into Energy points. But as you continue throughout the day there are diminishing returns.

This is to discourage people from injuring themselves from overdoing it and from marathon runners having an edge. They want the average Joe to be able to play the game.

Genopets steps to energy graph
As you walk during the day your steps get converted into less energy. So don’t go mad exercising.

At the end of your active day, you will need to open the game on your phone and bank your steps.

If you don’t bank them you lose them at 12am. Like Cinderella.

Genopets: how it all works

Once you bank your energy you can do a bunch of things.

It’s going to sound complicated now but this is what keeps you interested in playing.

You will need to strategize and weigh your options.

Graph of how genopets crypto works
How Genopets crypto works

You can use your energy to do one of 3 things:

  1. Battle other Genopets. Battles will feature turn-based mini-games where skill will play a role. The team has yet to release more details on this.
  2. Go on a quest. Again more details to come.
  3. Nurture your pet.

The extent to which you nurture your pet affects its “Mood”.

This in turn affects your step-to-energy conversion rate.

There are 3 ways to improve your pet’s Mood:

  • The first is nutrition which accounts for 40% of its Mood. So you need to make sure you feed your pet regularly.
  • The second is Joy which also accounts for 40% and which you can influence by playing fetch and other games.
  • The third is Love which accounts for the remaining 20%. You can maximize Love by petting your Genopet.

For all of the above, you need to expend energy.

Screenshots of Genopets battling
A Genopets battle

The other option is to convert your energy into XP (those experience points we came across in Pokémon Go).

XP immediately applies to leveling up. Each level requires a specific and increasing amount of XP.

After you reach a certain level you graduate to the next stage.

You want to reach the next stage because your step-to-energy efficiency increases and your pet evolves in size and aesthetics.

All in all, there are 12 stages and 78 levels. For example, you need to reach level 8 in order to move to stage 2.

6/10. So erm, how much walking am I going to be doing?

If you solely converted steps 1:1 into energy then you would reach the last level after you clocking about 20,000 Km (12,000 miles) on your pedometer.

In reality, it will be way more than that because you expend energy on other stuff plus energy does not convert 1:1.

For comparison, the distance between Beijing and London is 8,000 Km (5,000 miles).

So it’s a lot of walking people.

So far this part of the game is free to play and does not involve any crypto.

Keep in mind that you cannot trade energy or XP with others.

7/10. Where does the crypto part come in?

Oh right. So Genopets crypto uses Solana which is a super fast blockchain.

Now, those points you earn from walking can also be converted into crypto tokens called KI (the I pronounced like “eye”).

Let’s explore this a little further.

In order to get KI you need to have a Habitat.

Think of this as a resource like land that you can use to make things on.

You won’t have a Habitat when you start so you need to buy or rent one from some early birds who won them in a treasure hunt.

Each Habitat is a procedurally generated NFT and is a unique piece of art that evolves.

Image of a Genopets habitat
A Genopets habitat

Once you have a habitat you can start doing more interesting things.

You can craft (mint) NFTs that you can use to upgrade your pet’s abilities and appearance.

Or you can trade those NFTs in a marketplace. You get the picture.

As a habitat owner, you can be an Alchemist, or Harvester, or both.

And you can also bestow those roles to people renting from you.

An Alchemist combines tokens and crystals to craft items.

A Harvester converts energy to KI and vice versa.

Each habitat does the following 5 things

  1. Generates a daily amount of a specific type of unrefined crystals (earth, fire, water, etc)
  2. Has a lab that refines crystals i.e. mints new NFTs
  3. Has a workshop where you can combine refined crystals and GENE and KI tokens to make stuff. This is the crafting process.
  4. Generates up to 6 seeds which you use with GENE and KI tokens to make new habitats.
  5. Harvests energy i.e. converts energy into KI.
Genopets habitat explained
5 things you can do with a Habitat

Here is how you craft stuff on Genopets crypto

Each habitat produces a certain amount of unrefined crystals.

You can then process these in your Lab to get refined ones.

This is where you are effectively minting NFTs.

You can now combine NFTs and tokens to craft stuff in your workshop.

For example, with 2 Refined Fire Crystals and 10 KI, you can make a Horn Reagent.

Reagent means mixture in Chemistry. Any Alchemist worth their mettle would know that.

Once you have your Horn Reagent you can combine it with 1 GENE token and another refined crystal to get your Horn Augment.

There are in-built probabilities of how rare your horn will be.

Genopets example of crafting an augment
How to craft a horn

Now that you have your horn augment you can use it on your Genopet or you can sell it in a marketplace.

You can see that things are getting interesting now.

You need to strategize within the game’s economy and there are a bunch of directions you can go in.

What makes the game more interesting is that certain items take time to craft.

For example, you may need to wait 48 hrs to craft your Horn.


You can use up to 3 Habitats at the same time.

Each Habitat comes with an innate ability to generate specific types of unrefined crystals.

And Habitats also evolve from levels 1 to 3.

This affects how many crystals it can generate per day.

You also need to maintain your Habitats otherwise they decay and eventually you cannot use them.

Can I have more than one Genopet?

Yes, you could have a bunch of Genopets. But your steps will still convert into the same amount of energy.

It’s up to you whether you want to build one quickly or build 3-4 at a time for different purposes.

ok, I think you get the picture.

Enough about the game. Let’s look at the team and the tokenomics.

First the tokenomics

8/10. Genopets tokens explained

Just like with Axie Infinity, there are 2 tokens.

KI Tokenomics

The first is the KI token which you use strategically as an economic agent in the game.

You refine crystals, craft stuff, or create new land, and so on.

An initial amount of 20Mn KI was auctioned at the end of June 2022 with a starting price of 50 cents.

Over 90 days starting from the launch another 20Mn KI is being airdropped to GENE stakers.

The protocol will maintain another 20Mn KI for the game.

Pie chart of KI token allocation
KI token allocation at launch

GENE Tokenomics

The second is the GENE token.

This is the governance token that you will be able to use to vote on community proposals.

GENE is also sometimes required in the game e.g. for crafting.

If you stake your GENE you are eligible for goodies such as NFT airdrops, energy boosts, etc. You also get rewarded in more GENE.

“Staking” in this context means not selling i.e. you send your GENE to an address where it is locked.

Nothing to do with staking for Proof-of-Stake.

In total, there will be 100Mn GENE tokens that release over time.

It is not clear whether this amount is fixed or could change in the future.

Here is the break-up

pie chart showing GENE token allocation
GENE token allocation

By default GENE tokens lock up for a year.

The longer you lock the higher your rewards. In return for staking GENE, you get rewarded more GENE.

If you want you can withdraw rewards early in the form of synthetic GENE called sGENE.

You can use sGENE in place of GENE within the game.

However, sGENE is not tradable once withdrawn. So you would only withdraw rewards if you wanted to use them within the game.

GENE is rewarded over time but rewards decay by 3% every 2 weeks.

Currently, the total staking rewards planned are 4Mn GENE over 4 years.

For those who have already started staking the implied reward rate to date is 38% (262K rewards/ 680K staked GENE from the graph below).

Genopets staking interface
The Genopets staking interface at https://mainframe.genopets.me/staking

9/10. The lowdown on the Genopets crypto team

The origins of Genopets crypto are important to understand the broader vision of the team.

Genopets was founded by Albert Chen and Ben Tse.

Albert Ben has a background in marketing and software. Ben is the one I came across in podcasts.

With a background in web development and design, he became involved in crypto in 2018.

After failing at starting a blockchain company in 2018 he and Albert used their last savings to fly to London on a whim to participate in an EOS hackathon.

The theme was to use blockchain technology to improve privacy.

Ben and Albert’s project was around owning your genetic DNA data and selling it to medical researchers if you wanted.

Picture of Genopets founders winning hackathon
Ben The on the right and Albert Chen, second from right, win the EOS Hackathon

They ended up making it to the finals in South Africa and winning the hackathon.

The idea was way ahead of its time so the team pivoted and tried to tackle the product from a different slant.

What if we got people to do something good for themselves without them knowing it?

Why not make it fun for people to walk in order to play the game?

Gamers often use the term “grind” to convey the hours they need to spend on the couch in order to progress in a game.

With Genopets, grinding would be physical activity.

When you hear Ben speak you realize that what drives him is the potential to make the world a better place.

He says that being physically healthier also translates into being emotionally healthier.

Maybe you won’t make that bad decision.

Maybe you will be nicer to the person you interact with.

And maybe one person at a time the world will become a better place.

Ben’s aspiration to help you own your data is still in the back of his head.

He still considers how Genopets could potentially store your health data for you in a privacy-safe way without anyone having access to it.

Maybe someday your procedurally generated pet will be based on your DNA.

10/10. Wrapping up Genopets Crypto

Genopets is your digital familiar. Your spirit animal is a digital representation of you.

This is taking the concept of avatars to the next level both design-wise and technically.

Getting a functionally complex NFT to work in the blockchain world is extremely challenging.

And Genopets seem to have achieved this. Now it’s just a matter of playing the game.

If you enjoyed this article you can follow me on Twitter at @lementalcrypto. You can also sign up to my newsletter (below) to learn about a new altcoin once a week.

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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