I decided I may as well check out the hackathon before the actual conference, since I have the time, and wanted to meet up with Bryan Bishop, one of the Bitcoin Core developers I’ve been working with to get Bitcoin Core’s new communications team and efforts off the ground.
The hackathon is hosted by Microsoft at their swanky tech center in Times Square. I don’t think I’m supposed to be able to get in, but I explained to the security folks that I’m here as media, and that they haven’t issued me pass yet. She was cooperative thankfully.
Bryan took the time to answer some questions I had about the Lightning Network, which helped me understand it better, and will hopefully let me explain it better to others in the future.
Currently, the hackers are doing practice presentations where they get the chance to test their planned presentations and get feedback from panelists. Seems like a cool way for them to get better at presenting.
The first presentation I caught partially, but they are using the Bitcoin blockchain. The next 3 have all been based on Ethereum, including one that sounds a lot like he invented money for farmers :/
I noticed Dan Anderson, AKA Droplister, from the podcast Unconfirmed Transactions is here, programming away, so I gave him a quick hello. Check out his anarcho-millinerist stylings on SoundCloud when you get chance!
As Bryan looked over my shoulders while typing, he private-messaged the following link to me: http://thetypingcat.com/course/qwerty
LOL, yes, I’m horrible at typing, never formally trained. Maybe I’ll take the time to practice with that website in the future…
The practice presentations are over, and in 30min everyone will begin their official presentations.
Lunch was provided, and Bryan, Dan, and myself had a great conversation about Blockstream’s Liquid and the dynamics of how arbitrage might work when fully implemented. This led to someone overhearing our conversation and asking about how DAOs, might be relevant. It was an odd interjection from a man that, to my conspiracy-loving nature, looked and sounded much like a government rep or consultant to government interests. He informed us that he works as a consultant and is researching the viability of various blockchain solutions versus existing database options. His company is called InfoRev, if I heard him correctly.
Deloitte is walking around giving out branded t-shirts that say “Make the blockchain real” and setting up their promo banners, etc.
Here’s a list of the upcoming presentations:
The presentations are beginning now. Judges have been introduced, time to discover the next “killer app”! Contestants had about 24 hours to create and will be judged on “uniqueness, market-readiness, quality of presentation, and tech complexity.” Each project gets 3 minutes to present and 1 minute of Q&A with the judges.
Proof of Phone – KYC oracle on ethereum platform linking phone # to Ethereum wallet. Helps to allow ‘sovereign identity’ (expect to hear that buzzword more often). The app works with SMS to authenticate account creation.
– Trying to solve the problem of not knowing a party’s actual cybersecurity. Uses oracles and smart contracts on Ethereum as well as bitcoin. I didn’t quite understand it, partly because I had to move across the room due to alternating presentation podiums. He wrote it as an Ethereum smart contract from what I understand, so I’m not sure if judges found the static demo sufficient. Sounds like it somehow assesses security of a firewall.
FleetChain – Solving high cost of short-term rental of large equipment. Requires a device. Allows owners to increase utilization of their equipment by renting. HyperLedger project. Their implementation was nonfunctioning to unreliability of the service! Judge asked them to consider using Ethereum…
Time to announce the winners!
Deloitte on stage, they announce Fleetchain as their winner! Their prize is a a day and dinner at their “innovation lab” with their blockchain gurus to help them launch their company.
Microsoft and Consensus up next. They announced a partnership where they will have a virtual hackathon for a month this summer. Proof of Phone wins! and DAO Community Relief wins! They didn’t remind us what the prizes here are, sorry!
Microsoft has a surprise prize $150/mo free Azure credit and product licenses, awarded to Micro-Sass!
EtherCamp on stage presenting their award to three winners: Infinity!
IBM prizes up next, presenting a huge clown check to Black Ops, for GoPro cameras and some advertising. Their main winner is Decentralized Energy Utility, sorry I couldn’t see the amount on the clown check from my seat!
Final sponsor prize from Tieron next, Lead Market is the winnerof 1 BTC!
Final overall prizes: UnionD gets Honorable Mention. Runner-up Community Relief team. And the winner of the $5000 clown check is …
Decentralized Energy Utility!