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Fifty Developers Hack With Bitcoin for Two Days in San Francisco



This past week on March 24 the San Francisco-based Hackreactor HQ and the bitcoin company Purse introduced bitcoin to over fifty developers with its “Bcoin Hackathon.” The bitcoin-centric hackathon included two days of programmers experimenting with the alternative Bcoin protocol and the process of building with bitcoin.

Also read: After Changetip’s Failure – Minitip Retries the Bitcoin Tipping Thing on Reddit


The ‘Bcoin Hackathon’ Introduces Bitcoin to 50 Developers 

Fifty Developers Hack With Bitcoin for Two Days in San Francisco
The Trade Terminal project, built on Bcoin.

A group of hackers consisting of young developers and senior level engineers gathered at the Hackreactor to develop ideas utilizing the bitcoin protocol. Attendees worked with the client Bcoin an alternative bitcoin implementation written in (javascript) node.js. The Bcoin protocol was created by software developer Christopher Jeffrey, the Chief Technical Officer at Purse.

Just recently the alternative bitcoin software made headlines because a Bcoin block was mined on bitcoin’s mainnet. This was the first block ever mined with an alternative implementation that was not written in C++. Because the Bcoin code is not written in Satoshi’s original C++ framework, programmers may find the node.js infrastructure an easier method to develop bitcoin applications.

“Bcoin was created to reduce complexity, be more “hackable,” and allow for developers to quickly jump into bitcoin development with less barrier to mental entry,” explains Purse. “This made Bcoin the perfect technology to introduce to budding/senior developers over the course of a 2-day hackathon.”

Fifty Developers Hack With Bitcoin for Two Days in San Francisco
Developers hacking with Bcoin at the Hackreactor HQ.

‘Building on Bitcoin Has a Steep Learning Curve’

The event was sponsored and organized by members of Purse, Private Internet Access (PIA), Ledger, Chain and more. Attendees of the two-day hackathon also heard from Bcoin developer, Christopher Jeffrey (JJ), and the co-founder of Lightning, Olaoluwa Osuntokun (Roasbeef). Purse says “building on bitcoin has a steep learning curve,” but company explains the fifty attendees learned a lot and made valuable connections over the two days.

For instance, developers had issues understanding the testnet/simnet and how to use test tokens with their pilot applications. Programmers also had difficulty with conceptualizing bitcoin input/output scripts, as Purse explains;

One of the most obvious barriers that we saw developers new to bitcoin struggling with was the concept of interpreting bitcoin inputs/outputs scripts and wrapping their head around the processes of funding transactions. More thorough documentation about how to jump headfirst into that would have been useful in lessening the initial confusion. Baby-steps, we’re all learning here.

The Bcoin Hackathon Winners

First place prize winners took home one bitcoin, a years subscription to Private Internet Access VPN, a signed copy of The Internet of Money by Andreas Antonopoulos, and a Ledger Nano hardware wallet. Michael Folkson, Alex Bosworth, and Nathan Basanese won first prize for building a monetizing full node project which showed that full node operators could be incentivized in the future.

Fifty Developers Hack With Bitcoin for Two Days in San Francisco
1st Place Winners: Michael Folkson, Alex Bosworth, and Nathan Basanese for their Monetizing Full Node Project

The second-place contestant was a team called Bocksy Bay who made an application that stores torrent magnet links on the blockchain. Essentially the idea could create an immutable censorship resistant Pirate Bay explains the developers.

A team dubbed Bstream created a platform that enables streaming music in real time by paying with a Bcoin wallet. Purse explains the idea was popular among attendees and the bitcoin marketplace startup was “impressed by their frontend interface.”

Purse adds, “If you’re interested in learning more about some the projects, the winners and a few of the participants were kind enough to leave their awesome projects up on public repos. Fork them, play around with them. And, maybe try out the hackathon boilerplate yourself and see what you can build in a weekend?”

What do you think about Bcoin and the recent Hackathon in San Francisco? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Medium, and Purse. 


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