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We love hackathons here at Blockchain, and we’ve sponsored three since the beginning of November.

The Money20/20 Hackathon was the first, which preceded the Money20/20 Conference in Las Vegas.

On Friday November 14th, we were a sponsor of Coin-orado, a hackathon organized by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Bitcoin Club. While not present at the event, we contributed a winning prize of three bitcoins, plus some virtual mentoring provided by Blockchain developer, Kevin Houk.

That same weekend, we were on the ground at New York University’s HackBit event, which was NYU’s first bitcoin hackathon and took place in the new NYU Leslie eLab.

The NYU lab space was a new tech lab that was perfectly designed for such an event. Hackathons are an amazing opportunity to support developers interested in getting involved with bitcoin. With so much raw talent and potential in a post-secondary environment such as NYU, it became an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

The students were not only eager to build with the APIs, but they also took advantage of our presence at the event. This was an opportunity for networking and to teach students about bitcoin and blockchain technology. To better instruct students, bitcoin was also supplied to those who needed it to test their software.

Attending the event from Blockchain was Kevin Houk, who was mentoring teams with any questions they may have had about our API. Blockchain President, Peter Smith, was also attending the event as a hackathon judge. Other companies who had a presence included Chain and Bloomberg.

The nearly 75 student attendees pushed through the night to make sure their submissions were complete for the 4PM Saturday deadline.

The hackathon schedule was jam-packed with activities such as workshops, presentations, and games, all to keep the participants motivated to complete their project, but also to learn more about bitcoin.

Our API challenge winner was team BitRec, who also won second place in the main competition. Their submission was a receipt tracking system and spending dashboard, for the purpose of tracking and analyzing spending habits. The product they designed was incredibly beautiful and consumer friendly.

First place HackBit winners were team To The Moon. They built a Space Invaders game, for browser and mobile, that awarded players satoshis for each point scored. Building on the Blockchain API allowed their game to also handle player payments and wallets.

Their plan to monetize included advertising and allowing players to purchase upgrades. It was an entertaining way of demonstrating bitcoin’s ability to do micro-payments at scale.

The game reminds us of the iOS game Bitcoin Billionaire, which has been quickly gaining popularity as an addictive and fun idle clicking game, where you acquire bitcoins to secure your fortune.

This inaugural NYU hackathon will hopefully be the first of many. We left the experience with a renewed sense of energy and excitement.

Next we’ll be attending the McDonald’s Hackathon this weekend in London, where teams will push through 48 hours of concept, design and coding to help McDonald’s build a revolutionizing digital restaurant experience. Come bring your ideas to life!