Post-release of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, developers find innovative ways to create dApps on Bitcoin without increasing the strain of Bitcoin’s transaction layer. One of the most remarkable apps created is Poketoshi, a hivemind way of playing Pokemon games.
In February of 2014, the ultimate social experiment began, allowing users to control the outcome of Pokemon video games through Twitch chat. At the peak of popularity, the channel saw over 100,000 viewers, all entering characters attempting to control the outcome of the game.
Thousands of players attempting to control one player certainly had the potential of interesting outcomes. Griefers tried to release beloved starter pokemon while heroes tried to complete the Elite Four, the final battle of the game. Surprisingly enough, several Pokemon games were completed in this fashion, with amusing events happening along the way.
Some names of the original team include AABBBBBBK the teams Charmander, and JLVWNNOOOO a Rattata.
Years after the genius of Twitch Plays Pokemon, developer João Almeida created his own version allowing users to control the player in Pokemon through Lightning Network payments. The game can be watched on Twitch and played on the official website.
Time to see where are all these Pokemon fans at! I'm releasing Poketoshi!
A 'Twitch plays' like game, using @lightning network microtransactions.⚡️
— João Almeida (@joaodealmeida94) June 16, 2018
Unlike the first playthrough, Bitcoin supporters managed to precisely name the main character Bitcoin, and the rival BCash, poking fun at its competing cryptocurrency: Bitcoin Cash.
So far, the game hasn’t gone as viral as the original, possibly due to users not wanting to spend their own Satoshis when they can play for free on the original game. While paying 10 Satoshis per move is not the most practical or fun way to play Pokemon, it shows the significant potential for applications the Lightning Network creates.
More Lightning Apps
Satoshis Place is a shared wall where people can draw on a 1000×1000 pixel board. Every pixel they overwrite costs 1 Satoshi. After sending payment through a channel, your artwork is posted for everyone in the world to see. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to how long your masterpiece stays on display, as anyone can overwrite your work.
Are LApps better than Ethereum dApps?
Off-chain decentralized lightning applications appear to be a better approach versus what other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum currently do.
Cryptokitties, one of the most well known Ethereum dAPPs, has been responsible for hiking Ethereum transaction fees, leaving more unconfirmed transactions than normal. As the amount of dApps increase on Ethereum, users will be required to pay more Ethereum Gas to have their transactions prioritized.
After opening up a channel which has the same cost as an onchain transaction, Lightning Network users can send instant transactions to almost anyone else on the network for Satoshis.
Bitcoin’s lightning network allows for near infinite scaling of applications, without sacrificing the speed or cost of main chain transactions. Lightning Network truly is amazing, and Poketoshi is just the start of Bitcoin LApps that will be created.
Cover Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash