In the latest installment of its Signature Bounties campaign, Blockstack has partnered with ShapeShift to challenge developers to create a universal wallet. The contest, which began this morning, April 25, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. EST, will run until 11:59 p.m. on June 25, 2018. The winning project will be announced on June 29, 2018, and awarded $50,000.
“We’re really thrilled to be able to partner with ShapeShift for this bounty and to build on the success of the bounty program so far. This is something that speaks directly to the crypto community, who inherently understand the motivations behind decentralized applications,” Xan Ditkoff, a Growth Partner at Blockstack, told Bitcoin Magazine.
As with past Signature Bounty competitions, the focus here is to build a decentralized application (DApp), in this case, a decentralized universal wallet. This campaign, however, has a special focus on interoperability and cooperation, as Blockstack’s partnership with ShapeShift suggests.
“Increased interoperability and collaboration between projects will only hasten the pace of innovation — and making each project’s atomic unit of value accessible across communities is critical,” a Blockstack blog post reads. “That’s why we are partnering with ShapeShift to enable an open source wallet where users can hold and exchange most, if not all current and future forms of tokens, all in a decentralized manner.”
A successful project, the post continues to reveal, will feature a synergy of Blockstack’s storage, authentication and encryption functions with ShapeShift’s token exchange API. Additionally, serious submissions must be open sourced and accommodate all or most coins and tokens, including custom tokens that haven’t been created yet.
The end game for this bounty, as its name suggests, is to create a universal, easy-to-use wallet that combines the security features of Blockstack alongside the seamless token-swapping mechanisms of ShapeShift.
Creating a universal, low-barrier-to-entry wallet is essential, Ditkoff explained, and it should be comparable to current online financial management systems.
“Having to go back and forth from wallet to wallet to access or exchange different tokens is onerous. For people with little knowledge of cryptocurrency to adopt this tech, it needs to be simple, beautiful, and frictionless.”
The Community Component
Since September 2017, Blockstack has made a commitment with its Signature Bounties to curate decentralized applications that work toward providing an accessible experience for users of all levels of technical literacy. Launched as part of its $25 million Blockstack Signature Fund, these bounties have culminated in such popular DApps as Graphite and Stealthy.
To Ditkoff and the rest of the Blockstack team, these bounties “have proven to be a powerful tool to not just motivate development within the community, but to bring other members into the community as well.” Whenever Blockstack issues a new bounty, they do so out of necessity, “a need from a user perspective.” As such, developers are motivated to produce quality work, as, in Ditkoff’s words, “they are building to fulfill a real need.”
Contrary to projects created through corporate-incubated initiatives, these community-driven efforts harness the talent and potential of an expensive pool of developers and enthusiasts. For Blockstack, there’s power in numbers, and open-sourced innovation can be driven by the sparks of brilliance engendered in bounty competitions and other community programs.
“Community-driven campaigns like bounties have the advantage of being able to fully capture the power of an open-source network,” said Ditkoff.
“Beyond bounties, we are witnessing the power of the community with the incredible response to our recently announced Community Rewards Program. The benefit here is that the community comes together and learns from each other, incentivized by the unit of value that will be used within the ecosystem they’re helping build. Oftentimes, the freedom to innovate outside of the corporate structure can lead to some interesting outcomes, and we want to nurture possibility.”
To register for the Build a Universal Wallet Signature Bounty, follow this link.
Colin is an associate editor and staff writer for Bitcoin Magazine. He's proud to call Nashville his home, where he spends his days shouting at peddle taverns and trying to find affordable parking downtown. If it wasn't already obvious, he holds bitcoin.