The fourth BSV Hackathon has ended, and “Voice Over Bitcoin Protocol” application Bitcoin Phone has been declared the winner, being awarded $50,000 worth of BSV.
Together with representatives of the other two finalists, loyalty point platform TKS Pnt and streaming video app CATN8, Bitcoin Phone creator Joe Thomas of Canada has presented his peer-to-peer application on Day 1 of CoinGeek Conference, which was held at The Sheraton Times Square in New York City on October 5 to 7.
Bitcoin Phone has won over two of the four judges, and a tie has ensued with Japanese-based TKS Pnt for first place. The tie was broken by tallying the votes from the audience—both at the venue and watching live online from all over the world.
The panel of judges is made up of Managing Director of Private Equity at fourth BSV Hackathon major sponsor Ayre Ventures Paul Rajchgod, Technical Director of the BSV Infrastructure Team Steve Shadders, Bitcoin white paper author and nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig S. Wright and TV personality and former CEO and Chairman of marketing agency Deutsch Inc. Donny Deutsch.
Thomas starts his presentation by looking back into the early days of the Internet and what it means to make a voice call over the Internet, and then comparing it to what Bitcoin Phone can do now with faster connection that even allows for video calls.
“If you told someone back then, and this is a commonly debated topic, ‘I’m going to do a voice call over the Internet.’ They’d look at you a bit funny. And the reason for that is you’re essentially telling that ‘I’m going to take an IP packet, I’m going to turn it into audio, and I’m going to play it through the telephone. And someone else is going to decode that and play out through their speakers. They’d tell you, ‘Just pick up the phone and call somebody,’” Thomas said.
Using nSequence, a part of the original Satoshi Nakamoto payment channels, Bitcoin Phone updates transactions to have various types of outputs. This is then broadcasted into the network where every node gets these updated transactions. Using bloom-filters, a customer on one of the nodes can then choose to subscribe to these different transactions and download and play the audio file.
“You can call people, you can pay for them, you can set your rate, whatever you want. What you’re doing is you’re taking your audio data and you’re taking your money. You’re putting it into a Bitcoin packet, and you’re pushing it into the network. And by doing so, anyone on the network can listen in, decrypt your data if they have the appropriate keys and listen to the audio that you’re sending. And your peer will do the exact same thing in reverse,” Thomas explained.
By using the BSV blockchain and incorporating recently released SPV Channels and interacting via the network’s Merchant API (mAPI) to build his peer-to-peer app, Thomas illustrates a unique utility not seen before in the BSV ecosystem. And this is in line with its very creative and specific target market.
“We’re really targeting the tutoring and language-learning services. And these are both 6 and 13 billion-dollar industries. And we’re attempting to disrupt them. So nowadays, if you want to hire a tutor and if you want to hire someone to help you learn a language, the platform that you do it on will charge somewhere between 15 to 30% in fees. But we’re able to bring that down to almost peanuts. And we’re able to that because of BSV,” Thomas revealed.
With Bitcoin Phone, anyone from all over the globe can teach a language or skill and even provide counseling while earning from it. Customers, likewise, can choose the cheapest options for them. A direct incentive for identity verification is also built into the app, if ever customers would like to check their teacher or counselor’s credentials. Bitcoin truly deserves the title of being the fourth BSV Hackathon winner.