Blockchain Blog

Our HackPSU Recap

Over the weekend we visited Penn State campus in State College, PA, to attend HackPSU, a hackathon with a focus on beginner participants but open to all levels of experience.

Attendance at this event was a great way for young coders to build their portfolio, learn some new skills and network with other students and sponsors.

The event welcomed about 400 undergraduate students, and hacking took place over 24 hours between March 28th and 29th.

[![Logo courtesy of HackPSU.org](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/hackpsu3-2.png)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/hackpsu3-2.png)
Logo courtesy of HackPSU.org
The Bitcoin presence at events like these is growing but still has a long way to go. At the majority of hackathons we’ve been to, that haven’t been Bitcoin-centric, the knowledge and awareness of what Bitcoin is has been quite low.

At HackPSU we were delighted to be able to mentor 9 different teams, who built an assortment of different Bitcoin apps with the Blockchain API. To add to the excitement of the hackathon we hosted an API challenge, which awarded $2,500 in BTC to the team who used our API library in the most creative and useful way.

[![Justin and Kevin from Blockchain, with the team who built Coin Rider.](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/HackPSU-win-1024x768.jpg)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/HackPSU-win.jpg)
Justin and Kevin with the team who built Coin Rider.
Bitcoin was a focal point in two of the winning projects at HackPSU.

The winning team of our API challenge included Matt Young, Rachel Rattay, Ming Luo and Robert Hansen, who created a game called Coin Rider. The game was designed to allow players to learn the basics of how the Bitcoin market works without the risks of losing any funds. Players also receive a small portion of bitcoins for participating.

We had the opportunity to speak with the team, who say team member Rattay was behind the idea to build Coin Rider. Rattay recalls her inspiration for the app came from her introduction to Bitcoin through faucets. While the use of faucets isn’t highly recommended for acquiring more than very small amounts of Bitcoin, it was through this process that she gained interest in how Bitcoin works. Coin Rider was the awesome result of the team using faucets as a fun and educational way to learn about Bitcoin.

[![login_screen](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/login_screen-1024x485.png)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/03/login_screen.png)
Coin Rider’s login screen, courtesy of Ming Luo.
Second place for the overall hackathon was an app called [Beat Coin](http://hackpsu2015.challengepost.com/submissions/35185-beat-coin), which was an app that streamed music and mined Bitcoin in order to pay the artists. The app also included an option to purchase songs with Bitcoin.

We’d like to congratulate all who participated, and if you were unable to attend, please do check out the video of the HackPSU final demos below: