“Bitcoin is hard, but we’re looking to fix that,” writes Purse in a recent essay about its hackathon held last week in San Francisco. “And, sometimes you have to just get 50 developers in a room and lock them up with sugar and burritos until it all clicks.”
The first place winner of the hackathon was the Monetizing Full Nodes team, featuring Michael Folkson, Alex Bosworth, Nathan Basanese.
Detroit City Monetizing Full Nodes
The team went by Detroit City at the hackathon, but the name might have been a joke to a certain degree. The project seeks to monetize full nodes by combining Lightning, an off-chain bitcoin micro-transaction solution, and Bcoin.
“It would allow operators of full nodes to basically charge for access to nodes,” says Mr. Mckie. “If you wanted to spend and verify transactions through it, it could send payments as well.”
He adds: “Full node operators could get paid to run full nodes on the network. This is a truly brilliant combination of use-cases between Lightning and Bcoin, and also highlights the issue of the current balance of power between miners and users. If you have nodes with economic incentives, then people are probably going to run their own full nodes, too, and this could improve things from a governance standpoint, as well as further distribute – or decentralize – the bitcoin network.”
The Blocksey Bays team introduced Baycoin, which stores torrents and hashes of magnet links in the blockchain, and works to pull in all the magnet links from Pirate Bay.
“Their front-end allows you to search and reference these hashes, kind of like a search engine in the bitcoin blockchain, and you can do torrent downloads,” describes Mr. Mckie. “Once magnet links are placed in Bitcoin blockchain, you have the entire media use-case, whether it was a music video that is essentially embedded in the Bitcoin blockchain.
“A lot of people would complain that this added unnecessary transactional data to the blockchain, bloating it,” admits Mr. Mckie, before adding a caveat: “But, these aren’t actually transactions which are going to be done over and over and over again. I thought that was interesting, and something I wasn’t expecting.”
Music Industry Disruptors
“Their front end is beautiful,” Mckie says. “You would basically have different song files, imagine like a Soundcloud interface, and when you go to click play, each individualized account has a preloaded bitcoin wallet. When you press play on any of these songs, they immediately start streaming.”
The song is then paid for in bitcoin microtransactions by the second. A bitcoin animation floats across the screen as the user pays throughout the duration of the song.
“You could build entire business of that,” Mr. Mckie believes. “Though the platform might face growing pains related to Bitcoin’s scaling issues.”
“Bit.Gift allows you to do a group discount while gift buying for friends and family, and it utilizes Purse,” Mr. Mckie explains of the project by John Packel. “You would have an individualized wallet. The way it would work is you have a list of different items for gifts you wanted to buy someone or you could have list of different items that Bit.Gift would send money to your particular wallet for that wallet to use on gifts. Once your wallet has reached a certain threshold it would, in practice, use Purse’s API to put money into a pool to buy gifts for friends and family.”
Great Learning Experience
“Building on Bitcoin has a steep learning curve, that we knew. But, what we didn’t know was if novice developers could easily plug into bcoin, and get to work without much hassle. Turns out they can,” writes Purse in an essay posted to Medium.
The company adds: “However, 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.”
Images from Purse and BitNodes,