MIT Bitcoin App Contest to Award Innovative Developers $15k in Prizes

Stan Higgins
Jun 4, 2014 at 18:30 UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2014 at 11:32 UTC

The MIT Bitcoin Project is hosting a summer-long competition that seeks new and innovative applications that incorporate digital currencies. Winners are eligible for numerous cash prizes totaling $15,000.

MIT BitComp, organised by the group that is giving $100 in bitcoin to every undergraduate this fall, will take place over three rounds between now and the end of August.

The goal, according to the organizers, is to invigorate the community ahead of the launch of what some are calling the world’s first “bitcoin economy”, a concept explored at the MIT Bitcoin Expo in May.

Organisers explained:

“To support the development of interesting projects, we’re launching the MIT BitComp to inspire and motivate MIT students and alumni to develop bitcoin-related apps.”

The first deadline is set for 22nd June, with three $250 prizes to be awarded to the best 250-word app pitches received at that time.

Promoting MIT innovation

According to organizer Jeremy Rubin, the project stems from the wider MIT Bitcoin Project and will use funding from that initiative to support the prizes. He added that all prizes will be dispensed in US dollars.

The rules allow for diverse teams to be formed, but each one must enlist a current or former MIT student. No external funding can be used for the project, and no entry fee is required.

The second round will reward three demonstration videos with cash prizes of $750 apiece. The deadline for this stage is 27th July.

A panel of judges, which is expected to be composed of community and industry members, is in the process of being formed, according to Rubin.

Categories for competition

The last round calls for practical demos of the applications developed by 24th August. Five topic prizes worth $1,500 each will be given away, with a grand prize of $5,000 being awarded to the top app of the final stage.

There are five categories for the final round:

  • The Awesome Award – will be given to the app that is the most creative or fun of the crop
  • The Engineering Award – will award the app that best demonstrates “the capabilities of bitcoin”
  • The Evangelism Award – will go to the team that best introduces bitcoin to new users
  • The Improving MIT Award – honors an app that aims to increase the quality of student life at MIT
  • The Next Billion Award – will be awarded for the team that focuses on furthering the adoption of bitcoin.

Smartphone with application icons via Shutterstock