TL;DR: The Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token platform is set to potentially enter a new phase with the announcement of the SLP Token Virtual Hackathon (SLPVH) by Fountainhead.cash co-founder “Jt.” It’s scheduled to run for three days, beginning on 27 September 2019, and encourages developers from all areas and blockchains to compete for knowledge and prizes. We grabbed some time with Jt for an interview to ask about motivations behind the hackathon and what devs can expect.
First SLP Token Virtual Hackathon
“For 72 hours, from September 27th 12PM UTC until September 30th 12PM UTC, teams from anywhere in the world will compete to build the hottest new SLP token application for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain,” organizers announced just days ago. “Prizes will include SLPVH-exclusive non-fungible trophy tokens and portions of the prize pool!”
Brainstorming in the SLP Hackathon Telegram chat group has already begun. One member mused, “I have one idea: Hong Kong is in a bit of a pickle. Why don’t we give them a proper voting mechanism? CoinText + SLP + some KYC app. The voters won’t ever have to touch a wallet. But they can vote indiscriminately via text or WhatsApp. And their identity is verified but protected by the KYC app. Much less violent than taking to the streets. A voting system like that is nigh unhackable.”
It’s this kind of playing with ideas, melding real-world problems with applications, that makes a hackathon so vital to any ecosystem. Developers need the chance to just try things, anything really, and see what sticks. Often in isolation, or buried within typical workdays, there isn’t a chance to bounce such thoughts off of others who’re literate, … much less at all.
Ideas Already Flowing
“Projects must have all their code written in the 72 hours of the hackathon, but brainstorming beforehand is encouraged! Code submitted for the hackathon will be made publicly available via GitHub,” the hackathon website insisted. And on that score, organizers are hoping to attract more devs beyond just the Bitcoin Cash or SLP-familiar worlds, stressing newcomers “will have experienced SLP developers available for consulting in a group chat, to which all hackathon participants will have access.”
Developer Chris Troutner also chimed-in recently, declaring, “I’ve got an Alpha release for bch-cli-wallet with SLP support. I’d love to get feedback from other developers: https://github.com/christroutner/bch-cli-wallet . This should be a great resource for participants in the hackathon,” he posted.
For those who wanting further reference materials, Jt has also created a GitHub of recommended tools and reading.
Interview with SLP Virtual Hackathon organizer, Jt
CoinSpice: Tell us a little about your crypto background. What do you do now?
SLP Virtual Hackathon organizer, Jt: I have been interested in Bitcoin since I heard about it on slashdot years ago. I was becoming very disillusioned with cryptocurrency around 2015 because of the takeover that had occurred. When Bitcoin Cash launched I was so excited that Bitcoin finally existed again. From this, I created craft.cash which is a sort of collaborative Minecraft creative mode built on top of Bitcoin Cash. I also joined Kosinus to co-found fountainhead.cash which helped to keep BitDB and Bitsocket infrastructure on BCH from degrading.
Today I assist with SLP infrastructure development and do contract programming and consulting for businesses looking into BCH&SLP development. You can also normally find me in the CoinSpice and development Telegram chatrooms.
How did you first find SLP tokens?
When I heard James Cramer was working on SLPDB, I reached out to him to lend assistance because I already had experience from using and maintaining BitDB (SLPDB is built on top of BitDB). SLP had interested me prior but I didn’t really know where to begin. I started work on the simpleledger.info explorer in parallel with his SLPDB development and we had a lot of great collaboration. One of the things I really enjoy about the BCH community is how helpful people are, and this friendship that emerged really was great for building and iterating quickly.
Why a hackathon dedicated to that particular platform, SLP?
SLP is still relatively new, it’s easy to program, and easy to analyze and understand. For developers this means easy-onboarding, I am confident that a 3-day hackathon is long enough to make something useful even without any existing SLP knowledge which is really incredible and I’m not sure can be said about many if any other crypto-ecosystems.
For businesses it means time to launch being weeks->months rather than months->years. Once people understand this I think there is going to be a really large increase in the amount of SLP development being done, and having more people who have tried it before will really help when companies are choosing what to build upon.
I’ve wanted to do an SLP hackathon for a while, but I wanted to wait until it was easy enough for someone to quickly pick up. I think we have reached that point.
It looks like you’re hoping to attract devs outside of BCH as well. Why?
A lot of crypto-currency communities are somewhat isolated from each other. I think BCH suffers from this to a large degree, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me as to why this is still the case. BCH is great at what it does best: being a crypto-currency. Tasks like creating tokens fit that money case perfectly, but because of past decisions on Bitcoin these token systems had to be created outside of Bitcoin using platforms which are “overpowered” for what is needed for the majority of token applications.
I think it would be great to open up and collaborate more with the developers and users from other communities. BCH has a lot of unused capacity which could allow for token use-cases that simply aren’t economically viable on other chains. For advanced scripting Ethereum or other smart-contract cryptos might be a better bet, but for more simple use-cases, which are the vast majority, SLP really shines. It’s also just fun to work on something relatively new and I think people from other ecosystems would really enjoy how straightforward it is to get started, and how inexpensive it is to transact.
What’s the reception to the hackathon been like so far?
It’s been great! We have just surpassed 50 people in the Telegram chat room just two days after the announcement. A lot of people are interested in trying out SLP and it is really cool to see.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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