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Coinbase Internal Hackathon Introduces Innovative Bitcoin-based Applications

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on December 21, 2015 Business, News, Tech
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Coinbase, a prominent bitcoin wallet and exchange startup, recently hosted its second internal hackathon to develop various bitcoin-based applications and platforms.

During the 48-hour hackathon, Coinbase engineers completed the development of five open-sourced software products, including a bitcoin-incorporated Slack Tipbot, a bitcoin exchange protocol Refraction, local WiFi network visualization tool Wave, an Electrum wallet for Android, and a browser plugin for bitcoin payments.

New Ways to Send Funds

Slack Tipbot, an add-on application integrated on the team collaboration software Slack, enables co-workers and employers to reward teammates and employees in Slack with bitcoin with simple commands.

According to its Github repository, the Slack Tipbot application has six main command terms:

  • Tip @user [amount]: enables users to send a certain amount of bitcoin or US dollars to other users on Slack.
  • @tipbot balance: enables users to track the balance of their bitcoin wallet
  • @tipbot deposit: allows users to view a bitcoin address to top up funds
  • @tipbot withdraw <amount? <address|email>: enables users to withdraw bitcoin to a wallet or an email address
  • @tipbot send: allows users to send bitcoin to others
  • @tipbot leaderboard: Displays others’ activities

Using the application, users can tip or send each other payments at ease by connecting Slack with Coinbase wallets. This feature could be especially helpful for team projects which require a distribution of large sums of funds to different departments. With the integration of Slack Tipbot, the head of the Slack group can disburse funds to users for certain purchases and costs securely.

The @Tipbot leaderboard command allows anyone to track transactions and payment history, eliminating potential confusion among departments.

Another bitcoin payment-focused application is called “Payment-Required,” which is a browser plugin that supports the HTTP status code 402: payment required and HTML tags. This add-on feature allows users to easily make donations and payments to websites such as Wikipedia using bitcoin.

By integrating the “Payment-Required” plugin, users can connect their Coinbase account with any browser and settle transactions to pay for various services.

Innovation in Privacy and Security

Refraction will be a decentralized bitcoin mixing service that allows two parties to exchange bitcoin in a way that “obfuscates who exchanged with who,.” without being vulnerable to Sybil attacks. The format of the custom redeem script in the claim transactions will ensure that a fair exchange has occurred.

Wave is a wireless Intrusion Detection System and 802.11 visualizer. Wireless data is sent from Wave-collectors to Wave, where it is analysed and stored in elasticsearch.The primary goal of Wave is to detect wireless attacks and alert relevant parties over email.

In the upcoming months, the Coinbase team plans to work with individual developers to build innovative products like these. The startup’s engineers will work outside the bounds of their normal work with other developers to create global payment protocol enabled applications.

“We believe that the creativity and talent of developers from across the world is going to bring Bitcoin to the masses and were encouraged by the projects that shipped in just 48 hours,” says the Coinbase team.

“Often times things that begin as toys can end up transforming into products that change people’s lives. We hope to see some of these projects develop further in the near future and also hope to see many others emerge.”

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