In September, we announced IOTA Flash Channels. To get a better understanding of their function, check out our introductory post on the protocol: here. But in essence:
Flash is a bi-directional off-Tangle payment channel which enables instantaneous, high-throughput transactions. In essence, they provide a way for parties to transact at high frequency without waiting for each transaction to confirm on the public IOTA network.
In this post we announced the IOTA Foundation’s virtual hackathon for our Flash Channels protocol. Starting November 26th, the hackathon invited community members to build solutions that utilise Flash to solve unique and useful problems.
We received numerous high quality submissions making it extremely challenging to decide on the winners. After a bit of internal deliberation, we decided increase the number of places that receive a prize from three to five!
- 15.000 USD
- 10.000 USD
- 5.000 USD
- 3.000 USD (new)
- 2.000 USD (new)
Below you can see the projects we decided were the best executed & best fit our vision for what Flash could be used for.
FogNet — 1st Place
FogNet is the winner of our Flash Channel hackathon. The project stood out to us as it embodies decentralised vision of IOTA. Fognet uses payment channels in resource and bandwidth restricted environments to exchange data for instant payments.
It works by providing a way for a user to enter into a Flash Channel over Bluetooth and exchange tokens for data requests. While a seemly simple idea, their project extends further than the device shown in the video. They are hoping to combine all of the components of their entry into a hardware device to help decentralise the internet.
Check out the demo here: https://Fognet.me
Generic Utility + Home Automation — 2nd place
The second place entry integrates IOTA Flash Channels into a population Open-Source home automation platform: Home Assistant. The example above (demo not public) allows for a user to monetise a coffee machine which is attached to the automation system. While seemingly trivial, the integration he has created allows for monetisation mechanisms to be built for any of the over 950 supported devices on the Home Assistant platform. The integration has since been officially added to the Home Assistant code base
During the course of the 2 months the author has contributed code to the Flash Chanels library and he also created a stand-alone Flash enabled Server which has been used by other entries in the competition (source here).
Check out the code here: https://github.com/jinnerbichler/flash-home
Simlyn — 3rd place
3rd place brings together IOTA Flash Channels and Microsoft’s Azure. Simlyn allows for data to be ingested by Azure’s services and then consumed through a web interface in exchange IOTAs. The result is simplified ‘real time’ data marketplace, in which you pay per 10 packets rather than once for access to the data stream.
The documentation for this entry explains the architecture of the demo and the video (here) comprehensively explains what has been created and how it works
Check out the code here: https://github.com/chris-to-pher/Simlyn/
WIOTA — 4th Place
WIOTA uses embedded hardware to create a WiFi Access Point that uses Flash Channels payments to charge users for their access to data by the minute.
The solution has access controls to kick users from the network that get behind on their Flash Payments. This project uses the great little server created by the 2nd place winner!
Check out the code here: https://bitbucket.org/nya1/wiota/src
BitBounti — 5th Place
The last entry to get a prize is BitBounti. This entry (closed source) implements Flash Channels between Google Cloud and a cross-platform mobile application to enable users to sell their data to interested parties. A company can create demographic bound bounties that can be fulfilled by the user in return for IOTA tokens.
This touches on the a topic that is of interest to the IOTA Foundation: personal data. The approach BitBounti has taken confronts the value of personal data by allowing for it to be purchased.
We’d like to thank all the participants for their entries!
It was hard to have to choose between them given their diversity and quality. While online hackathons don’t have the atmosphere in person hackathons do, we hope those that participated were able to enjoy building out their ideas with the Flash Channels libraries and will continue to develop their projects.
IOTA’s global reach makes it challenging to have community from around the world come and compete in a in-person hackathon. This was just one of many virtual hackathons we will conduct in the coming months.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next hackathon which will be focused on the Data Marketplace and Masked Authenticated Messaging.