You Can Now Play Pokémon On The Blockchain

A common trend in the past two years is adding “but with blockchain” to the end of any platform, business, or idea and having it result in instant hype. A good example of this occurred when Long Island Iced Tea changed their name to “Long Blockchain” and had their share prices soar 500%.

Whether there is a valid use case for adding blockchain technology to goods and services remains a valid question best evaluated on a case by case basis.

In the latest example of this trend, software engineer João Almeida created Poketoshi, which is a platform that lets you play Nintendo’s iconic game Pokémon via the Lightning Network.

The game is hosted Twitch and works just like the rest of Twitch’s ‘Twitch Plays Pokémon’ games. The games work by reading commands entered into the chat room by users. In Poketoshi, the commands are instead entered through a Lightning-enabled virtual controller.

Users enter a set of commands through the controller and have to pay 10 Satoshi per command through Lightning Network. The payments are made through OpenNode, which is a Lightning-enabled bitcoin payment processor for merchants.

The reason Poketoshi fits the above trend description so well is that the Lightning Network doesn’t make the user-experience of playing the game better whatsoever. The platform is just aimed at being a proof of concept for the utility of Lightning Network to enable fast and cheap transactions.

To recap for our readers, the Lightning Network is an additional layer that sits on top of a cryptocurrency’s blockchain to make the transactions faster and cheaper. While the technology is still in the testing phase, the early results are extremely promising.

The additional background for the Lightning Network is that there has been a long-standing rivalry between Lightning Network (who favor it as a solution to scaling bitcoin) and bitcoin cash (BCH) proponents.

Poketoshi users didn’t stop from taking digs at the Bitcoin hard fork during the gameplay itself either. Many users chose to name their in-game rival ‘BCASH,’ and shared screenshots on Twitter, in a humorous intersection of Pokemon trainer rivalry crossed with the actual rivalry between bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

This is also not the first time that a developer has created a fun way of testing the Lightning Network. Past examples include a Lightning-powered drawing board as well as a candy dispenser that lets users pay with via Lightning Network.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.