Frequently Asked Questions

The theme for the 3rd BSV Hackathon is “Connecting the world to one global blockchain”

One of the most powerful features of the Bitcoin model – of being a single, globally scalable blockchain, is that it brings opportunities for interoperability that were never before available. A single record of events in a common format. One of the great challenges of global information systems is that integration must be done repeatedly for every storage system that you want to interact with; Bitcoin solves this problem because you only have to do it once.

We would like to see examples of the real world being connected to, and making use of, Bitcoin as a common set of record – promoting interoperability between systems where this hasn’t previously been feasible.

Build an application that leverages efficiencies and benefits from data being written to and accessible from a single global blockchain.  Examples can include applications that:

  • break down historic industry data silos
  • make it easier for companies in different industries to interact
  • make it easier to operate across geographic boundaries for businesses, organizations, and consumers
  • enable consumers to interact, in a single way, with different businesses and organizations concerning their data and transactions
  • improve interaction across governments and government agencies

Note: Theme specific judging criteria may be added following the announcement of the theme for this hackathon event.

  • Teams will be judged on the following, equally-weighted criteria:
    • Technology: How technically impressive is the product? Does it use a particularly inventive technique, or does it use several different components? Does the product have a “wow” factor? How well does the project solve the prescribed problem?
    • Design: Did the team put thought into the user experience? How well designed is the interface? Is it convincing, intuitive, and consistent? Was the overall context of a solution considered? How relevant is the solution itself? Does it provide significant improvement of a situation? Does it create a new added value for relevant user groups? For a hardware project, it might be more about how good the human-computer interaction is – e.g. is it user friendly or does it have an engaging interface?
    • Completion: Does the product work? Did the team achieve what they wanted?
    • Market fit: Does the product solve a real problem and have a plausible market? Is there a workable business model that the project fits into? The project need not implement an entire business model – it may be just one component – but demonstrating that this has been thought about is a key criterion.
  • These criteria will guide judges, but ultimately, the final decisions will be made with a degree of subjectivity. The judges’ decisions will be final.
The 3rd Bitcoin SV Hackathon will be taking place entirely online from 23 June to 18 August 2020. Registration is open from 26 May 2020 onwards and will remain open until the conclusion of the competition on August 18 at 12:00 pm (GMT), when entries for all submissions close.

Things to remember

Whenever your code is in a working state, commit it. You never know when you may encounter a bug that you get stuck on. You can always roll back and submit an earlier working version. Sometimes, too, it can be easier to go back to a known working version and rewrite the code in a different way so as to avoid the bug.
Remember too, that your entry can address a smaller part of a bigger problem. The code component is meant to be a proof of concept. Make your entry as functional as possible, but if you need to, mock-up parts of other process flows – It is acceptable to demonstrate how your solution and its core components work.

Managing time

We expect participants may have full-time jobs and will spend varying amounts of time on their entries. The 8 week competition period was chosen so that you can fit in time for the Hackathon around work and home obligations. The 8-week competition period does not reflect our expectations about the readiness or degree of completeness of your final submission.

Important: Please ensure you and all your team members have an active Discord for communication with moderators at all times.

We recommend that all of your development tools are installed, up-to-date, and properly configured in advance of the virtual competition dates.

Bitcoin Association recommends the following resources for use during the Bitcoin SV Hackathon:

We also advise that you read (or re-read) the original Bitcoin white paper.

Each team or individual entrant will be invited into a group Discord chat via email.

Please note: If you are part of a team, you may also communicate with your team members directly through any medium of your choice.

Participants can enter the Bitcoin SV Hackathon as an individual, or as part of a team.

However, a participant cannot be part of more than one entry. This means:

      • a participant cannot be a member of more than one team.
      • a participant cannot be an individual entry and also be part of a team.
      • a team cannot submit more than one hack submission.

If you do not have a team but would like to join one, visit the Participants page on Devpost to see other registered users who are also seeking teammates.

Upon completion of your Hackathon work, a link to the following deliverables should be submitted on Devpost:

Minimum requirements:

      • Code submission using a GitHub repository named after your team.
      • Supporting documentation (this may include photographs of whiteboards, diagrams, written notes, a short business case, or any other material you think relevant)
      • A 5 minute (or less) video summarizing your entry – e.g. a screencast demonstration of your product and a short introduction to your team, vision, goals, and business proposition.

Optional requirements:

      • A working application and/or website.

Here is a video that shows how the submission process works.

Remember, our judging teams have limited time to review numerous entry submissions. Additionally, keep in mind it can be a challenge for our judges to get your application working, especially if your own development has dependencies installed that you are not aware of. If these are undocumented in your submission materials, it may be difficult to get your application to build without background knowledge of you work or the tech stack you are using.
For this reason, if you will not be running/hosting your entered application/service(s) and require us to run your submission locally, we advise you to dockerize your application in order to make this process easier for the judges. If you only have one image, then a Dockerfile in the repo or hosted publicly on Docker Hub is acceptable (with documentation on running the container). If you have multiple images, then a docker-compose in the repo is also acceptable.

Docker will be helpful in specific cases where we need to run your code, so if your project entails the creation of a library, for example, then Docker is not necessary.

You can learn more about Docker here:

A representative from each of the three finalists will be invited to present their entry at the CoinGeek LIVE conference in October 2020. The representative will either be flown to New York or present their submission virtually – depending on what world travel circumstances allow at such time in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finalists may continue to develop their entries and presentations prior to the final presentation at the CoinGeek LIVE conference.


All entrants agree that Bitcoin Association, CoinGeek and their affiliates have permission to use the entrant’s name, picture or likeness, biographical information, prize information, information, material, and screen captures about their submission to the Bitcoin SV Hackathon, and/or statements they make about the Hackathon on the Bitcoin Association, and other websites and for publications for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes, without compensation, to the extent permitted by applicable law.

Investment consideration

By entering the hackathon, all entrants agree to the following provision in the event they are selected as a top 3 finalist and therefore are considered a “Winner” of a Bitcoin SV Hackathon prize.

Winners agree that Calvin Ayre, Ayre Group CoinGeek and/or their affiliates will have the exclusive right up to and including 5 February 2021 to enter into negotiations with Winners for possible investment and to enter into any investment agreements for the project the Winners submitted in the Contest and any venture based thereon. Winners acknowledge there is no obligation for Calvin Ayre, Ayre Group, CoinGeek, and/or their affiliates to invest in Winners’ project submitted in the Contest or any associated venture.

You should build an application that leverages the unique properties of Bitcoin SV:
      • Big blocks – high transaction volumes with low fees
      • Large transaction data payloads
      • Instant payment verification
      • Familiar Bitcoin development experience

Throughout the virtual competition period, moderators will communicate with you via Discord, the Devpost platform and email for all of the following:

      • Timing announcements
      • Videos from the organiser
      • Tips and tricks

Additional rules and eligibility exclusions

      • For teams, the team leader must be over the age of 18, although other team members may be younger than this. The team leader is the person who will be nominated to present the submission if selected as a finalist and receive any awarded prize. (Teams may elect to share an awarded prize among team members however they see fit).
      • Current employees and staff (including contractors) of nChain, Bitcoin Association, and CoinGeek may not enter the hackathon competition.
      • Previous top 3 finalists from Bitcoin Association Bitcoin SV Hackathons are excluded from entering another Bitcoin Association Bitcoin SV Hackathon for a period of one year following the final round of the competition in which they were a top 3 finalist.
      • Multiple entries from one individual or team are not permitted and are grounds for instant disqualification.
      • Code re-use:
        • The general idea of a hackathon is to produce a project from scratch during the competition period.
        • You may use any code libraries as part of your project, but they should be clearly separated (in a different directory) to your original code.
        • You may reuse code you have previously written for an unrelated project, however, this should be clearly declared in your explanatory notes. This should also be segregated in a separate directory to the entry code. Judges will factor this in and, if the project the code came from is deemed too similar to the submitted entry, a significantly higher standard will be expected. We would, therefore, encourage you to work on a new idea rather than building directly on an existing product.
        • Work product and material submitted for previous Bitcoin Association Hackathon entries cannot be resubmitted.

Bitcoin Association reserves the right to disqualify any entrant who does not adhere to the Bitcoin SV Hackathon rules applicable, and to anyone who gains an unfair advantage through fraud or unsportsmanlike conduct while participating in the hackathon.

Bitcoin SV Hackathon Code of Conduct

All attendees, sponsors, partners, volunteers and staff involved with the Bitcoin SV Hackathon are required to agree to the following code of conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to ensure a welcoming and fair environment for everybody.

If you have witnessed or experienced any breach of this Code of Conduct during the Bitcoin SV Hackathon, please get in contact with us as soon as possible via Discord or email: [email protected].

The Bitcoin SV Hackathon provides a safe and comfortable environment and harassment-free experience for everyone, irrespective of:

      • gender
      • gender identity and expression
      • age
      • sexual orientation
      • disability
      • physical appearance
      • body size
      • race
      • ethnicity
      • nationality
      • religion
      • political views
      • previous hackathon attendance or lack thereof
      • computing experience or lack thereof
      • chosen programming language or tech stack

We do not tolerate harassment* of Bitcoin SV Hackathon participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate at any stage of the Bitcoin SV Hackathon, this includes, but is not limited to, the following:

      • hacks
      • talks, presentations, or demos
      • workshops
      • any parties or events associated with the hackathon
      • social media
      • any other online media

Participants found to be in breach of these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the Bitcoin SV Hackathon at the discretion of the organizers.

*Harassment includes, but is not limited to, offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or political views, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, photography or audio/video recording against reasonable consent, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

The first round of the virtual hackathon will take place from 23 June 2020 at midday (GMT+1) to 18th August 2020 at 5pm (BST)
Throughout the virtual competition period, moderators will communicate with you via the dedicated chat channel:
      • Timing announcements
      • Videos from the organiser
      • Tips and tricks

Assistance will be available from both the moderators and nChain staff:

      • If you need help, ask your moderator via the chat who will find an appropriately skilled/knowledgable person to assist you

Your complete entry must be submitted on 18 August 2020 at 5pm (BST).

      • Code (or links to a repository); and
      • Supporting documentation (this may include photographs of whiteboards, diagrams, written notes or other material)
You may enter the Hackathon as part of a team (up to 5 members), but this is not mandatory. You can also enter as an individual.
No. Entering the Hackathon is free, and open to everyone. All you need to do is apply by filling out our form (you can do it here).
The total prize pool for the 3rd BSV Hackathon will be $100,000 USD (paid in BSV). This prize pool will be shared between the 3 finalists, as follows:
      • 1st place: $50,000
      • 2nd place: $30,000
      • 3rd place: $20,000
Feel free to send us any comments or questions HERE.