Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 2018
If I can sum up Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 2018 into 3 words, it would be: caffeine, food and coding. 100 developers came out to the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon to compete for bitcoin this past January. The Miami Bitcoin Hackathon has given away over a million dollars in bitcoin to winners. The Miami Bitcoin Hackathon consistently churns out some of the best open source decentralized blockchain developers in South Florida. This year was no different.
So what is the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon?
Bitstop co-founders Andrew Barnard, Doug Carrillo and Dainel Vera started the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon in 2014. It’s a bitcoin focused event, in which a large number of local South Florida coders and hackers meet to engage in developing minimum viable bitcoin applications over a period of 26 hours. No initial coin offerings, no tokens or other nonsense allowed. The participants code through day and night at The LAB Miami in Wynwood and compete to win bitcoin.
What’s the point?
The goal is to get local South Florida developers inspired & passionate about developing bitcoin applications. We want talented coders and hackers in our community to be aware and educated about bitcoin and the benefits of open decentralized blockchains.
What were the prizes?
There were a total of 6 prizes denominated in bitcoin. Winners were awarded within minutes after the competition, which happened to be on a Sunday when banks are closed. Bitcoin never closes.
How about the schedule?
The format was pretty similar to the previous years. Friday night is a social event with Wynwood Brewery beer and gourmet organic empanadas. The purpose of the social event is to provide an environment for the participants to meet each other, form teams and discuss ideas.
Then Saturday morning is registration with a traditional Miami desayuno spread of croquetas, pastelitos and tequeños. At 9 a.m., hacking begins followed by Pollo Tropical for lunch and Papa Johns for dinner. The hackers code through the night into Sunday morning where they down some more breakfast and coffee before hacking ends and they have to wrap up their projects.
Set-up for judging promptly begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by about 2 hours of presentations by the contestants.
Who were the Judges?
Aaron is the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of the excellent and popular Bitcoin wallet breadwallet Editor of realvirtualcurrency.com. Aaron has visited over 70 countries and circumnavigated the globe by sailboat, but believes that no adventure compares to the Bitcoin revolution. He is easy to find and impossible to shut up once the topic of Bitcoin has been breached.
Enrique Canals is a veteran software engineer and is CTO at Vezt Inc, a blockchain technology startup that intends to track and collect royalty income transparently. Prior to Vezt, Enrique was head of engineering at Onward, a start-up aiming to help people overcome technology related issues such as screen-time addiction. He worked previously at at various technology startups such as Pebble (now Fitbit), Sphero (formerly Orbotix), and Particle.io.
Dainel Vera — CTO and co-founder of Bitstop & Miami Bitcoin Hackathon
Dan is co-founder & Chief wizard at Bitstop. He has a large appetite for scrumptious ruby code. Involved in crytpocurrency since 2013 he has worked on projects ranging from multipools to Bitcoin ATM software. He has a gorgeous cat named Emi who he rescued from Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.
Andrew Barnard — Co-founder of the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon & Bitstop
Andrew is an entrepreneur who has started several successful businesses. He was born and raised in Miami, FL. Currently, he is a Co-Founder at Bitstop which provides Bitcoin related services for both consumers and businesses in South Florida. Andrew is co-chair of the Florida International Bankers Association Virtual Currency committee where he works tirelessly with bankers, lawyers, regulators and legislators to make Florida a pro-business state for Bitcoin and Virtual Currency businesses.
Doug Carrillo — Co-founder of the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon & Bitstop
Doug is an expert in cryptocurrency mining, cold storage & multi-signature cryptocurrency wallet techniques. Doug helped co-found the Miami International Bitcoin meet-up. He was responsible for helping bring the first Bitcoin ATM to Florida and obtaining the first license from the Office of Financial Regulation for a Bitcoin company in Florida. Doug spends his time on product development and strategy for Bitstop product offerings.
Who were the winners?
First off, I have to say after attending the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 4 years in a row, 2018 projects were the most mature and coolest I’ve seen. I’ve noticed some of the same participants coming back along with many new ones. Every year as the bitcoin network matures, there are new resources and technical upgrades to capitalize on.
There were a total of 15 teams who competed for 6 prizes. They poured their sweat, blood and tears into these projects over 26 hours, grinding out code and design hoping to take home the 1st place bitcoin prize.
Here are the teams in order of presentation:
The top 6 winners in order are the following:
- Bitcoin Institute of Technology (B.I.T.)
The grand prize winner of the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 2018 for .75 BTC is Bitcoin Institute of Technology, a one-man team! Watch out Coursera and Code Academy! Bitcoin Institute of Technology built a really simple, well-polished online educational application which makes it easy for developers to get acquainted with bitcoin development. Evan Martinez did a fantastic job building a simple web app which worked very well and helps solves a huge problem in the bitcoin space: education.
A close second finish by PumpNDump for .25 BTC was an application that allows you to sell all your altcoins and tokens for bitcoin on binance in a quick and easy way. The simplicity and usefulness caught the eyes of the judges. Who wouldn’t want an app which makes it easier to trade bitcoin? Local entrepreneurs Willie Avendano & Nelson Milian came back after competing in the first Miami Bitcoin Hackathon in 2015 where they came in 3rd place. This time, they formed a team with several of their students from the school they co-founded, education lab 01 which happens to be located right down the street in Wynwood.
3. TSL — Cryptovest
Last years grand prize winner for 15 BTC came back again this year to defend their title. They slipped into 3rd place this year, but make no mistake, this is one of the most talented teams at the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon. These developers take bitcoin seriously. Cryptoinvest is an AR geotagging mobile application which makes it easy and fun to get into bitcoin. I would analogize it to something like Pokemon Go + bitcoin.
4th — Going for gold
These Gators came all the way down from the swamp at UF to compete this year. They took home fourth place and .05 BTC for their app ‘Toast’, a decentralized application used as a social funding platform.
5th — MEVIA
The two man team took home .03 BTC for their application which gives Amazon Alexa owners a quick and easy way to access bitcoin pricing, transaction times, and commission fees using personal assistants.
6th — blubeta ‘Hide & Fee’
For .02 BTC, blubeta came in 6th with their useful fee calculator that finds the the ‘hidden fee’ in bitcoin transactions. Hide & Fee optimizes how users move their UTXO’s by calculating fees and costs that are associated with each transaction.
Just a quick plug for our sponsors this year. We can’t do this event without you. Thank you for all of your support this year and in the past.
The Miami Bitcoin Hackathon 2018 was a ton of fun! The structure of the hackathon forces fast paced development and idea clashing between the participants. This high pressure environment yields new ideas and new information for all attendees. When it’s over, everyone leaves with something new they can apply for the future.
Doug, Dan and I continue to throw the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon every year for this reason. It’s one our ways of giving back to our community and to Bitcoin. Because Miami is the hub to South America, Central America and the Caribbean, we feel that South Florida is ripe for Bitcoin. Our hope is to inspire local developers and entrepreneurs to build bitcoin applications and tools which can change peoples lives for the better.
Thank you for participating and we hope to see you next year!
Check out the quick video re-cap.