By Makkie Maclang
The fourth BSV Hackathon, which began its six-week coding period on June 14, 2021, comes to a close with the three finalists (TKS Pnt, CATN8 and Bitcoin Phone) presenting their peer-to-peer applications to a live panel of judges on the first day of CoinGeek Conference New York and the results being announced on Day 3 of the blockchain conference held on October 5 to 7.
Before announcing the winner, a video was presented to show who each of the judges voted for. The panel of judges was composed of Technical Director of the BSV Infrastructure Team and nChain CTO Steve Shadders, Managing Director of Private Equity at BSV Hackathon major sponsor Ayre Ventures Paul Rajchgod, Bitcoin creator and nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig S. Wright and former CEO, and Chairman of marketing agency Deutsch Inc. and TV personality Donny Deutsch.
While Deutsch and Wright voted for Bitcoin Phone, Shadders and Rajchgod chose TKSPnt as the first-place winner. With the judges tied, it was up to the audience present at the New York venue and the live online audience to determine the winner.
Jimmy Nguyen, founding president of BSV Hackathon organizer Bitcoin Association, finally announced CATN8 in third place, TKS Pnt in second place and Bitcoin Phone as the first-place winner. Joe Thomas, creator of Bitcoin Phone, is one of 552 developers who entered the competition solo. He beat total of 623 participants to take home the grand prize of $50,000 worth of BSV.
“I voted for first place the Bitcoin Phone,” Deutsch explained. “I chose the Bitcoin Phone for a couple of reasons. It started with a consumer need, it was very focused into something vertical and it’s something very scalable and ownable.”
“I chose Bitcoin Phone as the first place for the Hackathon,” Wright said. “So, it’s a very hard choice, but I thought that the BSV Phone was just a little bit more polished and finished. The other two were great second-placers, and I don’t know if I could choose between the two of them.”
And Thomas certainly deserves the prize money and the title of being the fourth BSV Hackathon winner as he showcased through his interesting and on-point presentation what Bitcoin Phone can do. He was also able to provide straightforward answers to all the questions the judges threw at him.
“You can call people, you can pay for them, you can set your rate, whatever you want,” Thomas explained. “What you’re doing is you’re taking your audio data and you’re taking your money; you’re putting it into a Bitcoin packet, and you’re pushing it into the network. And by doing so, anyone on the network can listen in, decrypt your data if they have the appropriate keys and listen to the audio that you’re sending. And your peer will do the exact same thing in reverse.”
During his presentation, Thomas also succinctly points out why BSV was the digital currency and blockchain he chose to build Bitcoin Phone over all other Bitcoin implementations. It is the fact that he put careful consideration in building on other networks that highlights why Bitcoin Phone can only be built on the BSV blockchain.
“This is the cheapest and most efficient way to do transactions,” Thomas revealed. “No other blockchain as we know can support this at scale. And no other Bitcoin is cheap enough to support this. We thought about using Lightning, but it was a mess because we have to hop between six or seven different people and half the time it may not even work. And we’re also limited by the bandwidth of these smallest connections in that lightning path.”
Bitcoin Phone hopes to disrupt the six-billion-dollar tutoring and 13-billion-dollar language-learning services industries by lowering the astronomical percentage of fees given to platforms providing these services. With Bitcoin Phone, customers can choose the most cost-effective solution to their tutoring and language-learning needs.