[Summary] Bitcoin Bankathon Explained

List of speakers

Dylan (host) - OBP

Francisco - OBP

Ryan - API3

Yago - Sovryn

Josh - Qredo

About the challenges

  1. Building the next Neobank
    What could a more inclusive Bitcoin-enabled Neobank for El Salvador look like in 2022? It is not just an important challenge for the bank and El Salvador but for the whole world.

  2. Redesigning remittances
    In El Salvador, a lot of money comes in from family members that are living abroad. How could we make it more efficient, inclusive and better for everyone to send money back home?

  3. Battling climate change
    El Salvador already does a lot in regards to battling climate change. For example, El Salvador is mining Bitcoin with vulcano powered miners. After all, climate change affects them a great deal, considering that the state is close to the equator. How can we design solutions that will help blockchain companies and banks to tackle climate change?

  4. Empowering merchants
    The new Bitcoin law in El Salvador empowers merchants to accept Bitcoin and empower consumers to use Bitcoin to pay for services. How can we make the whole process easier for merchants? How can we help businesses in El Salvador to be able to use Bitcoin to do things that they haven’t been able to do in the past?

  5. Empowering women
    Women are underrepresented in the cryptocurrency space as well as in technology. We are looking for ways to build solutions and ideas that are going to help to empower women in this new crypto based economy that is being built and led by El Salvador.

About the infrastructure

API3, Qredo, Sovryn and Open Bank Project (OBP) have come together to combine their technologies to provide a new infrastructure that can tackle these challenges. They put together a developer toolkit that enables people to build meaningful use cases in a rapid and seamless manner.

  • OPB - enables banks to get digital assets ready and are the go-to provider for open banking

  • API3 - solves the oracle problem and allows seamless connectivity between different parties in a secure and trustless manner

  • Qredo - enables people to hold digital assets in a self-custodial fashion and to move these assets across L1 or L2 networks to facilitate different use cases, such as payments

  • Sovryn - allows people to build Bitcoin native applications and provides El Salvador and other countries with access to a very sophisticated financial system

All four projects together enable people to build a large variety of products and services and showcase what can be done in a very swift fashion.

About the hackathon

Innovation starts with the community. Crypto is community led - it’s built by the people for the people. As part of our alliance with Banco Hipotecario, we are looking to the people of El Salvador to showcase the kind of products and services that they like to see by giving them the tools to be able to do that. Bitcoin provides everyone in the world with equal access to a reliable monetary system. This is very valuable because a lot of people across the world don’t have access to reliable and sophisticated financial and economic systems.

The Bitcoin Bankathon is an open call to the whole world. Participation is not location-dependent. After all, Bitcoin is global and diversity is important for innovation. Multicultural and multidisciplinary teams tend to have a more holistic vision in these types of events. The more developers across the world that participate, the better.

Currently, people that are really benefiting from decentralized finance are very far advanced in technology - mostly crypto native people that are involved in Web3 for a long time. With the Bitcoin Bankathon, we have the opportunity to build decentralized finance products that are going to be more inclusive to everybody. Ultimately, people cannot just benefit from Bitcoin as a stable currency but also by putting their Bitcoin to use and actually growing their wealth rather than just holding it.

About the prizes

The first 50,000 USD worth of Bitcoin will go to the best product, which will be the most complete product that tackles the challenges. It will receive 100,000 USD for production support to build the prototype and take it live in agreement with the bank.

In the second category, we have the best use of off-chain data that is rewarded with 50,000 USD worth of BTC. It could be the best usage of the API3 Airnode that brings off-chain data on chain in order to tackle one of the challenges.

The next prize is 25,000 USD worth of BTC which goes to the best advanced technology. Here, we might see contenders that push the boundaries and go beyond the five challenges.

Next, we have the most visionary concept which is rewarded with 15,000 USD worth of BTC.

Last but not least, 10,000 USD worth of BTC are reserved for the Social Media Hero. This goes to the company that is the most active on Social Media by promoting the hackathon and giving updates on the journey.


Is the next step the presentation of ideas by different teams on November 19th?
On November 19th, there will be an opening ceremony, the sharing of ideas and a deeper dive into how the hackathon is actually going to work and how different teams are going to be interacting. There might be a presentation - though this might start the next day together with the kick off of the tech workshops.

Have some teams already submitted ideas?
Submissions haven’t opened yet - they open November 19th and close December 7th. The ideas that might have been submitted during the registration process are not the official submissions.

If you already have a project that suits the challenges, can you use that and take it further during the hackathon or does it have to be a new code?
It’s normal that people have a project already and like to adapt it to this particular event. This can be done but it has to be using all of our tools that we provide. If you have a code of a previous project you’re allowed to reuse it as a component in the solution but the actual project you build has to be new. You cannot just bring a project in and be done already.

Will there be a unified solution for all the parties involved?
Yes, we will have a unified solution for all the parties to use this as their stepping stone into the further development to cater to each of the challenges.

Any programming language preferences?
If you are building on the blockchain side, RSK currently supports all the opcodes and precompiled contracts of Ethereum, and therefore it can support any language that compiles to the EVM. This includes Solidity, Julia, and new or experimental programming languages such as Vyper. On the internal side, you can also access the Qredo and OBP APIs with regular Web2 code which would be wide open. Most solutions will probably be done in Solidity.

What’s the exact role of Banco Hipotecario? Are they reviewing the ideas and / or implementations? Are they part of the jury?
As the challenges have been predefined and approved by Banco Hipotecario, they will be reviewing the submissions. They will be part of the jury and they will be assessing which solution is actually solving the challenges in a way they could move forward into production.

Will the event be run in English?
The facilitators of the event on site will be bilingual but the event will be mainly run in English. However, online we also have channels for the Spanish-speaking community on our Discord. We try to be as inclusive as possible. If we have mostly Latinamerican people on site but there is a minority that doesn’t speak Spanish, we won’t neglect those and we will run the event in a bilingual fashion.

How do we expect the Qredo platform to be used as a solution?
Qredo is one of the infrastructure solutions that lets you build your idea or use case. With Qredo, you can hold Bitcoin and other digital assets in a self-custodial wallet which you can use like a typical wallet to send and receive transactions. Additionally, you can use it as a L2 settlement solution to move your Bitcoin between wallets if the Bitcoin blockchain is congested. It’s your choice whether you want to use a L2 settlement solution or the Bitcoin blockchain. It’s a combination of custodial use cases, wallet use cases and settlement related use cases and how you can use it as a launchpad to hold your digital assets and move them to send them out, i.e. into the sovryn environment. Ultimately, the core functionality boils down to custody and settlement of your Bitcoin.

Can you share the dynamic of the event?
The hackathon starts on November 19th and will carry on virtually for two weeks. On December 6th, participants have the chance to be in El Salvador to have some training from mentors. You don’t have to attend physically to be eligible for prizes, you can also purely follow the online streams. If you don’t have a team yet, don’t worry. On November 19th, we’ll have some team building exercises.

Will there be live demos here or on any channel?
In regards to demos about the platform, there will be workshops in the following weeks that explain the platform and there might be a video instruction on how to use the toolkit. In regards to submissions, participants will present their solutions to the jury on December 8th. This will happen online and on site.

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