Proving a Point with Poketoshi.
Well, it’s happened. The ‘Blockchain Hysteria’ has managed to hit our childhood friend. Whether it’s for a valid use case or not is still disputable, but the fact remains: Pokèmon has made its way to the blockchain.
You can now play the Nintendo classic via Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN), a payment system that increases Bitcoin’s scalability to allow for effectively instant micro-transactions. This isn’t the first time that LN has been tested in creative ways; developers have also created an LN powered candy dispenser, as well as, a drawing board. Nor is this the first time Pokèmon has been featured on the blockchain; March 2018 saw the release of CryptoPokèmon on the Ethereum blockchain whereby unique Pokèmon have to be collected, and the ownership of the captured Pokèmon is stored using smart contracts.
Hosted on Twitch, a live streaming service intended primarily for gamers, Poketoshi works just like the previous ‘Twitch Plays Pokèmon’ games. ‘Twitch Plays Pokèmon’ brought players from all over the world to collectively play the game in a bid to defeat the notorious Team Rocket. But, hundreds of users inputting commands through the chatroom actually became a stream of conflicting orders, turning the game into complete chaos.
With Poketoshi, users can input each command at the cost of 10 Satoshis through a Lightning-enabled virtual controller, and the payments are made via OpenNode, a Bitcoin payment processor.
It’s important to know that integrating the blockchain by no means enhances user experience of the game. It is only aimed at proving the ability of LN to conduct off-chain Bitcoin transactions in a cheap and fast way.
João Almeida, the Portuguese software engineer behind Poketoshi, described the shared-control Pokèmon via Twitter just a few days ago, and also recorded himself playing it.
Amusingly, Poketoshi users also saw this as an opportunity to take a dig at their long-standing rival, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), who advocate that Bitcoin hard fork was the key to solving scalability issues. Many named their in-game opponent as ‘BCASH’, all the while sharing screenshots on Twitter.