Block Chain Visualizer Coinviz Wins Boost VC Bitcoin Hackathon

Daniel Cawrey
Apr 28, 2014 at 11:47 UTC
Updated May 2, 2014 at 12:23 UTC

The results of 48 hours of brainstorming and software development on bitcoin-related business ideas were presented at the end of Boost VC’s 25th-27th April bitcoin hackathon.

The Silicon Valley event was held at Draper University in San Mateo, California, close to the Boost VC offices. Participating in the event cost entrants $25-worth of BTC per person.

A total of 12 projects were presented, after which judging was scored and winners for best ideas were announced.

Boost VC co-founder Brayton Williams, who helped to run the hackathon, seemed impressed by the number of inventive ideas:

“It was good. A lot of the stuff, I didn’t even know people were working on.”

The rules

The hackathon started on Friday, and ended Sunday afternoon, with participants being allowed to hack for 24 hours at the location over the weekend.

Coinbase's Brian Armstrong talking with some hackathon attendees.Coinbase co-founder Brian Armstrong talking with some hackathon attendees.

Twelve projects, mostly made up of teams, then pitched ideas for five minutes each.

A Q&A session for each idea followed from the judges, consisting of Boost VC’s Ross McKelvie, Boost CEO Adam Draper, Avish Bhama from Vaurum, Dan Held of Blockchain and Brian Armstrong from Coinbase.

The judges then scored each idea based on three criteria on a 100-point scale: idea (25 points), product (25 points) and business plan (50 points).

The winners

First: Coinviz, a financial visualizer for block chain transactions. Co-founder: Brian Bloomer.

Boost’s Adam Draper said during the group’s presentation that:

“I’m assuming you had to go through a lot of data in order to get this.”

Second: Coindash, which plans to build a way to hedge bitcoin investments in order to reduce volatility risk.

Coinbase’s Brain Armstrong remarked:

“We would use something like this.”

Third: Bitbook.ie, a betting platform that offered spread bets and money line bets.

The prizes were:

  • 1st: 5 BTC and three months of office space at Boost VC
  • 2nd: 2 BTC and two months of office space
  • 3rd: 1 BTC and one month of office space
Matt Slater, from Coindash, which won 2nd place, takes questions during his pitch.Matt Slater, from Coindash, which won 2nd place, takes questions during his pitch.

Interesting ideas in 48 hours

Brian Bloomer and Shaun Giudici, co-founders of winning idea Coinviz, said that they plan to continue pursing their first-place concept:

“We’re very excited with the insights we drew this weekend, but we’ve only scratched the surface – there are many more visualizations we’re going to explore.”

All of the ideas that were worked through for the 48 hours that made up the weekend seemed new, or at least were a twist on an existing idea.

Some of other interesting ideas included:

Coinpapa: uses Apple’s Passbook app, normally for coupons and tickets, as a bitcoin payment method.

Photon: a web-based biometric authentication system that uses a device camera to scan an iris.

Coinmail: integrating addresses and digital opt-in linking email systems to bitcoin technologies.

Marco Montes Neri, who worked on the three-person team that came up with Coinmail, said that the group had to move quickly in order to complete something by the end of Sunday at the 3.30pm deadline:

“We decided in the first day, [with] a couple of hours of brainstorming.”

Boost VC Summer Session

Applications for Boost’s Summer session are currently open. The deadline to apply is June 1, with the program commencing on 27th July.

Boost CEO Adam Draper told CoinDesk he expects to have 10 bitcoin companies in the summer class, part of his effort to incubate 100 bitcoin companies over the next three years.

Draper said that hackathons where new concepts can be quickly hashed out into something concrete is part of his plan to grow the bitcoin economy:

“[The hackathon] is where we find talent, find ideas.”

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock