Art by: Jing Jin

Hackathons have been hotbeds of innovation in the tech world for years. 
We have seen these breeding grounds for innovation evolve from typical software and gadget markets into other important fields like travel, medical care and, of course, Bitcoin.

We reported on The Bay Bit Hackathon earlier this week, prior to the kick off of the competition. The event took place on November 2nd and was attended by a number of programmers, designers, entrepreneurs and casual onlookers. Thirteen submissions were considered  in the contest, with four winners being picked and awarded a total of 8 BTC and US $1,024.

The grand prize winner was, perhaps unsurprisingly, a remittance app named Xendit. Remittance is an area with huge growth potential for Bitcoin (for people who can easily find exchanges) because it is able to provide easier use and lower costs than current, fiat-powered options. Xendit is designed for users who have to juggle multiple currencies. The use case these inventors showcased painted a portrait of an immigrant in the United States sending money back to his grandmother in Indonesia to help her pay her phone bill.

Three other rewards were given out, including one from sponsor Coinbase, who developed a special category for people building on their API. The 2 BTC Coinbase API prize was awarded to CrunchSeries, a platform allowing for easy creation and integration of trading bots into the Coinbase API. The program provides “in-depth realtime analysis” of bot performance and includes a simulation mode that allows you to see your bot's potential results without investing real money.

CreBit grabbed the remaining 1 BTC prize for a Bitcoin “credit report service”. Details on this program are scarce, but it appears to be an alternative to traditional financial credit reports and at the very least, takes into account blockchain activities.

The remaining winner who picked up the “Koinify” award for US $1,024, was CryptoX, a “decentralized solution to mutual funds for crypto currency.” Why Konifiy paid in fiat and not bitcoin is not immediately apparent.

Oh, and someone made a Wi-fi enabled bitcoin powered coffee machine. I feel like that deserves recognition.

For an industry that is rife with unfulfilled promises, delays and vaporware, it is refreshing to see a hackathon give birth to tangible results virtually instantaneously. Just goes to show what a little collaboration and competition can get done.