Joao Almeida is a Portuguese developer who created Poketoshi, an application for the Lightning Network (LN). Poketoshi is a game that combines one of the versions of the famous video game called Pokemon with the Bitcoin network for micropayments. The users need to pay 100 satoshis per game in this version of the game that is based on Twitch Plays Pokemon.
Almeida used OpenNode to create the game, a service specialized in liquidation of digital payments for merchants that uses the Lightning Network micropayments network. The developer shared part of the statistics generated by the video game. In the first 24 hours after the launch, Poketoshi earned 61,916 satoshis in a total of 635 transactions.
What is the goal of Poketoshi? The application is a form of homenage to Twitch Plays Pokemon, a social experiment created back in 2014 by an anonymous developer from Australia. By using Twitch, a video game streaming platform, the idea was to allow the users to indirectly play Pokemon. The game was a huge success and it even made a Guiness World Record for having the highest number of players in an online single player video game. The record set by Twitch Plays Pokemon was 1,165,140 players.
Poketoshi uses the same principle as Twitch Plays Pokemon, but each movement in the game needs to be paid for using the Lightning Network protocol for micropayments. The goal is to monetize the game so that the streaming service become self sustainable, while allowing the Bitcoin community to use the micropayment network in a direct manner. The game uses the Red version of the game.
Paul Pajo, a developer from the community, shared his result while playing Poketoshi on his Twitter account and presented the payments realized through the Lightning Network protocol: “Was able to play a few hours ago! Embered a Rattata and SZ levels up to Level 8!”
The video game’s interface uses controls seen on Super Nintendo. Through this interface the players can move the avatar through the game and, as we said earlier, each movement costs 100 satoshis, independently of the chosen button. Joao Almeida, the creator of the game, assured that he modified the configuration of the video streaming to low latency in order to avoid creating a difference between the movement of the player and the execution of the order in the game. This is what Almeida published on his Twitter account: “I just set http://poketoshi.com stream as a ‘Low Latency’ stream on twitch. The delay is reduced now. Catch them all.”
The developer from Portugal said the original idea for this game was expressed by Michael Goldstein, the President of the Nakamoto Institute. Goldstein published a tweet in which he said how this game would look like: “Million satoshi LApp idea: Lightning Network Plays Pokémon
An experiment in social coordination using micropayment skin in the game. A satoshi per button click, but also payments to bump up a priority queue and/or gain full control for a period of time.”
Poketoshi is somewhat similar to Satoshis Place, a collaborative blackboard used to draw with pixels. Each pixel costs one satoshi and the users can draw as much as they like. The pixels have been drawn more than eight times and, according to the statistics published by the author of this application, more than 8.2 million pixels were drawn.
In both cases, the really significant fact is the usage of the Lightning Network protocol for micropayments. It allows to realized micropayments immediately and achieve a common goal.