As coronavirus is changing everyone’s lives, making it harder to go outside or interact with friends and family, people are leaning more than ever on digital video platforms to live a “normal” life. That includes Bitcoiners who are fine-tuning the organization of hackathons in the virtual realm.
Several times around the globe, German lightning research startup Fulmo has put on the event Lightning Hack Day, where developers gather to hack and share new exciting ideas to further the network or the lightning-related projects they’ve been working on.
With coronavirus making it unwise (and even legally restricted) to travel and gather in large groups in meat space, they’ve moved online, rebranding the event to the Hack Sprint. “The world is still in lockdown, but that doesn’t stop Bitcoiners to gather around the virtual fireplace to keep building and sharing knowledge!” tweeted Fulmo a couple of weeks prior to the two-day event, which took place May 9 and 10.
The event is dedicated specifically to the lightning network, a technology considered critical to Bitcoin‘s future. It aims to solve huge problems with payments in the leaderless currency, such as significantly scaling how many transactions it can handle and speeding up payments to be instant, as shoppers expect.
The hackathon is an “unconference,” since participants do much of the (self-)organization. They can get what they want out of it. Before the Hack Sprint, developers posted “challenges” for fellow hackers to solve, such as a small boost to lightning privacy and building an extension using lightning payments as a method to curb spam on a wiki, where participants can crowdsource information and collaboratively edit content. Some enthusiasts even posted BTC bounties to encourage participation.
“Anyone is welcome to put up challenges and use the weekend to get some progress. No one is forced to deliver a prototype, but to work and share what their outcomes were,” said...