Blockchain Blog

Our weekend at the Money20/20 Hackathon

Last weekend Blockchain took part in the Money20/20 Hackathon, which was a precursor to the Money20/20 conference, in Las Vegas.

The Hackathon was a fierce competition between teams of developers. The goal? Develop an application using any of the participating companies’ APIs *(that stands for application programming interface), *within a 24-hour window.

Each sponsoring company devised specific challenges and a prize to the winning team who chose to accept their challenge.

Our challenge was simple: Build a bitcoin experience, using Blockchain’s API suite, on web or mobile platform that serves a specific and/or niche use case. For example, A savings wallet, a wallet version created for kids, or an interactive introduction to Bitcoin.

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The challenge officially started at 11am on Saturday, with a submission deadline of 11am Sunday.

Teams buckled down over those 24 hours and persevered, with support from one another and many caffeinated beverages.

The Hackathon was a testament to the persistence and determination of these amazingly talented individuals, many of them working around the clock or taking turns sleeping at their seats.

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During the course of this weekend frenzy, four of us from Blockchain had the privilege of watching these applications unfold in front of our eyes.

An amazing 23 teams chose to build using the Blockchain API, more than any other company present at the Hackathon.

One team developed an application called BitCompete, which was a platform game that designs its levels based on the hash of transactions broadcasting across the network.

The team who worked on this project was also able to incorporate a system where users would have to pay a small amount to play and each time the high score was beat, the winner would be able to cash out the accumulated bitcoin.

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Team Samaritus won the Blockchain API challenge prize of 15 bitcoins.

The team of two developed an application called Good Samaritan, which proposed putting an NFC tag on recyclable bottles, for the purpose of encouraging people to recycle in exchange for micro amounts of bitcoin.

Such an application not only packs a powerful environmental incentive, but it allows businesses to learn about their customers and their consumption patterns.

BitPredict captured a $20,000 grand prize; the application was developed by two students from the University of North Texas.

This application manages bitcoin volatility with statistics that uses data from Blockchain.info. These statistics are used in conjunction with Google’s prediction engine to create a 90-95% accurate price prediction of Bitcoin. A user is able to send and receive with the Blockchain API and set a risk level, which will automatically adjust the account balance of bitcoin and USD depending on the risk level.

Blockchain was one of many sponsoring companies present at the Hackathon. Others present included, but weren’t limited to PayPal, Mastercard, Chain.com and Inuit.

Our experience was unbelievably inspiring and a huge reminder of the growth potential within the bitcoin space.

We can’t wait to see you next year!