The Bitcoin Games: Liquid Hackathon
Liquid Network

The Bitcoin Games: Liquid Hackathon

Neil Woodfine

The Liquid Network is growing fast, and it’s time for you to get involved. As part of our sponsorship of the Bitcoin 2019 Conference, we’ve launched a virtual hackathon for developers anywhere in the world to submit their Liquid applications for a chance to win a first prize of $3,500 in bitcoin, plus many other bonuses.

Time is short: competing teams need to submit their projects by 9th June,  so you’ll need to start forming your team now. After registering for the hackathon, Blockstream’s all-star engineers will be making time to help teams make their projects the best that they can be.

Winning projects will be showcased at the Bitcoin 2019 Conference in San Francisco on 25-26 June.

What to Build

The Liquid Network is an inter-exchange settlement network based on a Bitcoin sidechain. By moving bitcoin to Liquid through a process known as a “peg-in,” users can settle Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) much faster and more reliably than on the mainchain, as well as take advantage of Liquid’s cutting-edge privacy features.

Liquid also supports the issuance of new digital assets on the same chain (Issued Assets), which are cross-compatible with all other Issued Assets, and can be transacted as quickly and privately as L-BTC. Liquid is based on Bitcoin’s codebase, so developers with experience of working on Bitcoin will feel right at home working with any of the assets on Liquid.

The sky’s the limit for the projects submitted by hackathon teams. While Liquid is primarily built for the Bitcoin exchanges, brokers, and traders, many other users can benefit from its powerful features. We’re hoping the teams surprise us with applications that even we haven’t considered, but to help get your creative juices flowing we’ve listed a few of our own ideas:

  • Asset swap tools: Applications that allow users to perform trust-minimized atomic swaps between BTC on the Bitcoin mainchain and L-BTC on the Liquid sidechain, or between any of the other assets issued on Liquid.
  • Bitcoin-backed loans: Loans backed by L-BTC, using Issued Assets to generate individual bond coupons. Smart contracts could ensure that L-BTC stay locked up as long as the loans get repaid over time and if a payment isn’t made, the collateral can be seized.
  • Security token management: Blockstream’s Liquid Securities platform is launching soon, making it easier than ever for businesses to launch their own security tokens. Issuing businesses will be on the lookout for solutions that help their users store, manage, and trade their investments.
  • Altcoin custody solutions: Help exchanges and traders secure their altcoin holdings with Bitcoin-style multisig, for example, using an ERC-20 peg-in to an Issued Asset.
  • CryptoCats: Sorry, just kidding.

Judging Entries

Entries to the Bitcoin Games Liquid Hackathon will be judged by Samson Mow (CSO), Lawrence Nahum (Chief Architect), and Andrew Poelstra (Director of Research) based on the following criteria:

  • Business: How well the application solves a pain point in the industry; practicality; monetizability.
  • Technical: How well the solution meets the project goals; innovation; code quality.

All participants get free tickets to Bitcoin 2019 in San Francisco, and the following prizes are up for grabs for winning entries:

First Prize

  • $3500 USD paid in bitcoin
  • Up to $1500 reimbursement of team travel expenses (can be applied to flight/hotel/per diem costs associated with round-trip travel to event)
  • Continued mentorship on the submitted or other related projects using Blockstream technology (4 hours)
  • Product showcase on Blockstream’s blog and social media
  • Blockstream hats, hoodies and stickers for each team member

Second Prize

  • $1500 USD paid in bitcoin
  • Blockstream hats, hoodies and stickers for each team member

Get Started Now

As per the Bitcoin Games site, follow these simple steps to get involved:

  1. Register for the hackathon on Devpost.
  2. Register for the Bitcoin Games Slack and join the #liquid-hack channel.
  3. (Optional) Find a teammate by reaching out to other developers on the Participants tab or in the #team channel of the Bitcoin Games Slack.
  4. Review the Resources tab to help you get started.
  5. Create and publish your project.
  6. Provide access to your project to Devpost by including the URL to your codebase and any operational instructions on your submission form. Be sure to indicate that you’re submitting to the Liquid “Hack”.
  7. Submit your project on BEFORE June 9th @ 11:45pm CDT!

Remember to make sure your submission is made available to the public upon submission under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


New public Liquid documentation will be launching early next week on the Blockstream site. In the meantime, you might want to take a look at:

Liquid is based on Elements (which itself is based on Bitcoin), an open source platform for building custom sidechains and blockchains. As a result, many of the Elements guides are compatible with Liquid, including:

(To use with a Liquid node, add rpc details to liquid.conf, as you would to connect to a Bitcoin node.)

Any Questions?

We want to get as many people coding on Liquid as possible. If you have any questions, we’d be more than happy to help. Come find one of our many team members in the Bitcoin Games Slack or Liquid Community Telegram group, or feel free to drop us an email. And don’t forget to register for our webinar on Monday!

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