Pokémon fans all over the world can now play their favorite game through Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Portuguese developer Joao Almeida, whose Twitter profile says that he builds “cool stuff” on top of the Lightning Network, has now made it possible for Pokémon fans all across the globe spend Bitcoin on a Twitch-style video game.
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
Buy moves with satoshis
Users can buy moves for 100 satoshis on poketoshi.com. For example, a player will have to spend 100 satoshis if he wants to move right, jump up, or select any move from the Nintendo-style controller, with the result displayed in the Twitch video in real time.
So, every move will cost $0.00006482 at the current Bitcoin price, and all the payments made by users to make their moves will be processed through Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. This is a second layer network on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain that’s used to execute cheap and fast transactions, so the micropayments made by users should reflect on Twitch, a video game live streaming website, in real time.
The big picture
The fact that you can pay such small amounts using Bitcoin for carrying out an activity as simple as playing a game is an answer to critics who were earlier apprehensive of the digital currency’s inability of processing microtransactions. The Lightning Network has now made it possible to use Bitcoin to make payments that could be as small as a thousandth of a dollar, or even less, and that too at extremely low transaction costs.
For instance, a Reddit user conducted 42 transactions recently using the Lightning Network at a cost of just 4.9 cents. By comparison, Bitcoin transaction costs were way higher at nearly $55 in December last year. As such, experiments such as Poketoshi establish that the Lightning Network is playing a key role in bringing the cryptocurrency mainstream for peer to peer transactions, painting a bright picture for Bitcoin’s future.