Texas Bitcoin Conference Recap

Last week, hundreds of cryptocurrency enthusiasts from around the world descended on the Circuit of the Americas race track outside of Austin for the inaugural Texas Bitcoin Conference. Developers, entrepreneurs, economists, and other crypto-fans filled conference rooms and lecture halls to discuss technology and business trends that are emerging in the quickly evolving world of digital payments.

Two days of talks, demos, and speaker panels ensued among the palpable buzz generated by the release of a Newsweek article that purportedly unmasked the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. The Bitcoin community in attendance rallied around the idea that “we are all Satoshi Nakamoto” and instead worked to divert attention to the world-changing potential Bitcoin’s technology is enabling.

At the Ripple Labs booth, our team hustled to spread the word about the Ripple protocol and network, and engineer Steven Zeiler gave a talk entitled Ripple: The Free Market of Crypto Money.

In addition to the ongoing discussion of the future of money, new services and applications were actually being built with crypto-protocols as part of the Texas Bitcoin Hackathon. The winning team pitched a project called Storj – a Dropbox-like service that allows document storage to be distributed across devices on the network. Other projects included issuing crypto tokens for people contributing to ridesharing systems and bandwidth to the Tor network. Ripple Labs provided 800K of XRP prizes to the top teams and another 800K bounty to build an app for merchants to accept Ripple payments.

Of the ten teams participating in the 30-hour hackathon, two decided to build mobile apps that brick-and-mortar merchants can use to accept payments through Ripple. This challenge was fearlessly accepted (and overcome!) by Doug Preston of Beaumont, TX and Bryan Gmyrek of Phoenix, AZ.

Both developers used cross-platform development frameworks to build their apps, so their hackathon efforts resulted in Android and iOS apps. Check out their work (and improve upon it if you wish):

If you’re a merchant that would like to accept Ripple payments at your business—in any currency you like—stay tuned for details on where to download these lightweight apps for your Android or iOS-based point of sale device.

We can’t wait to see more of you in the future, whether its at conferences, meetups, or developer events, and continue building the future of payments together.

Ripple Labs employees Steven Zeiler and Ryan Terribilini, along with Ripple developer Doug Preston and his wife.
Ripple Labs employees Steven Zeiler and Ryan Terribilini, along with Ripple developer Doug Preston and his wife.