Blockchain Beach, a non-profit promoting the use and development of Blockchain Technologies, will be hosting the Miami Bitcoin Hackathon. Spanning from January 9 to January 11, the 28 hour Hackathon will bring local developers together to compete to build working applications within several categories related to bitcoin.
The event is highly anticipated, as the industry is familiar with what results past Hackathons have yielded. One notable example is the likes of Airbitz Dark Wallet team winning the April 2014 Hackathon in Toronto, Canada with their Dark Market Submission.
The event begins at LAB Miami with registration, and presentations and business pitches from the local bitcoin community. The actual hacking starts early next morning at 9am and continues until 1pm the following day. Judges will then look for how the teams handled design, functionality, execution, and original use of bitcoin in their project. The event is free for participants and observers.
Teams that come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place will win Trezor hardware wallets and over a thousand dollars in bitcoin. 1st place will also get a chance to pitch their product on the North American Bitcoin Conference’s startup stage.
The event is just one of a succession of events that is making Florida a temporary epicenter of bitcoin activity. Bitcoin took over the city of St.Petersburg, Florida last weekend when the BitPay sponsored college football match kicked off. The Bitcoin Bowl brought the crypto-currency national attention as well as over 100 new brick and mortar merchants accepting it in the local area.
The weekend following the Hackathon will host the North American Bitcoin Conference Miami, one of the most highly regarded bitcoin conferences in North America. The annual conference features prominent figures such as Roger Ver, Vitalik Buterin, and Jeffrey Tucker and expects thousands of people to attend.
The main sponsor for the Hackathon is BitStop and other corporate sponsors include Knight Foundation, Bitpay, and Coinkite. Food for the event is provided by Power Pizza, Kind Healthy Snacks, and Jo Jo Tea. Local educational institutions sponsoring the event are Wyncode, University Of Miami, and Miami Dade College.
The event is also drawing many of the local area’s crypto-currency experts, such as Angel Leon of the Open Bazaar team, and Chris DeRose of the Counterparty project. Both of them, as well as many other industry experts will be participating in the event.
"People have a rudimentary understanding of this technology, and really have no concept of just how transformative Bitcoin technology will be. My hope is that by participating in events like this one, I can show members of the financial community that there are major innovations coming to their businesses.” - DeRose
The Hackathon is just the first step of Blockchain Beach’s plan to make Miami a bitcoin hub. Known as the “The Gateway to the Americas” because of its strong ties to Latin America, they see Miami as a great candidate for bitcoin remittances. They also see the city’s upstart tech community as fertile ground for bitcoin businesses and projects.
Another bitcoin education event will be starting in San Francisco on January 10, in the middle of the Hackathon. Blockchain University will be starting a 10 week in-person course on blockchain development. Featuring teachers from a collection of leading blockchain startups, students will learn how to develop “next generation” blockchain apps like smart contracts or decentralized financial services.