The lucky winners of the upcoming Texas Bitcoin Conference Hackathon could walk away with up to $1m thanks to David Johnston, co-founder of BitAngels, a bitcoin-oriented angel investor group.
While it might sound like a very generous gesture on Johnston's part, he views it as a rather prudent investment instead.
The Hackathon will be held on 5th - 6th March in Austin, Texas, with the CEO taking to reddit to explain his plan in an AMA. There was no shortage of questions – after all, we are talking about a potentially life-changing sum of money.
Instead of simply giving the prize money away with no strings attached, Johnston wants to award it to the top four projects that emerge out of the hackathon.
Speaking of strings attached, Johnston clearly states that all projects must be open source, have their own token, use a decentralized block chain (preferably the Bitcoin block chain) and feature a consensus mechanism. Full details are available via the official hackathon page.
Johnston points out that he accumulated his wealth by working "100-hour weeks for 10 years" and by investing in bitcoin in the good-old days. He argues that bitcoin has pioneered a new model for developing technology, as outlined in his decentralized applications whitepaper.
What is Johnston looking for?
Johnston says he is interested in projects that use the bitcoin model of a decentralized application, but that don't compete with the features of bitcoin. He is not interested in altcoins and alternative block chains.
"If you came to me with a project and said: 'This protocol pays people Storage Coins to contribute their extra hard drive space to the cloud and we have a cool Proof of Storage mechanism and its all open source and we store the records in the Bitcoin block chain,' then I'd be highly interested," he explains.
Johnston points out that it's all about the difference between simply accepting bitcoins and building something new using bitcoin technology.
He says he expects a billion people to be using bitcoin in the next five years, but he adds that most of them simply won't know it anymore than billions of people that use HTTP on a daily basis do.
Judging by the AMA, Johnston isn't your run-of-the-mill angel investor: he comes across as a real enthusiast committed to the development of bitcoin.
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