The Bitcoin Design Community has experienced a whirlwind of creativity over the last few weeks. We just wrapped up our Designathon, which went from October 12 to 23. (Imagine a traditional hackathon, but focused only on design.) Our goal was to motivate designers and builders to get together and collaboratively explore ideas and concepts for the bitcoin ecosystem. The entire bitcoin community was invited to take part, regardless of their backgrounds or level of experience. This was the first event of its kind in bitcoin history.
And it was a blast! Huge thanks to all participants for their creative spirit and dedication. Double thanks to all who supported this event, especially our wonderful sponsors.
The event lasted 12 days. On the last day, teams presented early versions of their work to each other and our judges. If real-life use cases for bitcoin are something you care about, it’s well worth your time.
Some teams were not able to join the presentation call and instead submitted their projects as videos. You can and should view them here:
How it all started
The idea of hosting a designathon had been floating around the Bitcoin Design community since mid-2021. Earlier this year, BOLT.FUN organized two developer-focused hackathons (Shock the Web 1 & 2) and started planning a bigger 2-month event with various partners. So we thought it would be a good idea to launch a design-focused event simultaneously. This would allow participants to connect in real life, form teams, and generate ideas. Some events that happened around the same time as the Designathon were Legends of Lightning, Bitcoin Amsterdam, and TAB Conf. We have already seen several Designathon and Legends of Lightning participants link up to boost their work.
Naming the Designathon was no simple task. We started with Bitcoin Design Playtime and then Bitcoin Design Tinkertime. But as with most things, we asked the community, and they decided that naming it a Designathon would be the best choice.
An array of projects
The range of projects that designers took on were extremely diverse. In the weeks leading up to the event, we asked the community to submit challenges that needed solving. Participants tackled those and brought their own problems to solve. Anyone interested in a concept could join that team and contribute. Teams also decided on how they would work together, whether by jumping on calls or by working asynchronously.
A variety of resources were available to teams, from open feedback calls to workshops, as well as all the resources of the Bitcoin Design Community, like the Bitcoin Design Guide.
What the teams produced within such a short time blew us away. We thank the participants for their time, effort, and passion. Please continue building, designing, and having fun.
Project summaries and the prize winners
The end of the designathon was an extremely close run. Some teams sprinted and combined a month’s worth of UX Design and Research into a fraction of the time.
Choosing the prize winners also proved to be tricky, as the quality of work produced by all teams was amazing. A big thanks to our mysterious panel of reviewers, who reviewed all the amazing work; we appreciate your time and efforts.
Let’s look at the projects that took part in the Designathon, starting with the prize winners. We’ll keep this concise, so click through to learn more about each one.
1st Prize: Inheritance
What happens if the family bitcoiner suddenly kicks the bucket? That was this team’s design challenge. They did such a good job solving it that they took 1st prize. View the presentation.
2nd Prize: LNDg
3rd Prize: AgriMint
4th Prize: Team Taro
An investigation into the future of bitcoin and Taro and how we might interact with the two in a few years. View the presentation.
5th Prize: BitKid
Not everyone could take home 1st place, but with so many unforgettable projects, there were no runners-up.
This project explored new AI art tools and how they can be used for personal enjoyment within the bitcoin ecosystem.
Alby contact list
This project explored creating a contacts feature for the Alby browser extension. This would show a list of people frequently transacted with as well as transaction history. The project was not initiated or led by core Alby contributors. View the presentation and bolt.fun project.
A peer-to-peer app for tapping into electric vehicle charging points paid via lightning. You can also check local charging points depending on where you travel. View the presentation.
Bitcoin Mountain Wallet
A bitcoin community banking and insurance solution with community custody for Bitcoin Mountain, a community in the Buea Mountain Area along the Atlantic coast of Cameroon.
BTCPay Server Directory
This project re-designed the merchant directory page on the BTCPay website, making it easier to find businesses supporting bitcoin and for businesses to list their services. View the presentation.
A desktop application for consolidating bitcoin UTXOs using a zero-knowledge sidechain for improved on-chain privacy. View the presentation.
An effort to help dispel fears, celebrate what makes bitcoin magic, and provide a library of creative resources for bitcoiners. View the presentation.
This project devised a mobile app that gives interactive lessons about bitcoin and managing money responsibly. View the presentation.
An application for tagging podcasts with notes.
A community banking solution built for communities in Central America. It allows the user to hold both bitcoin and fiat, which is custodied by a federation of local guardians. View the presentation.
This team designed a visual way of creating and restoring the seed phrase to help users understand what is happening during this process.
Some of these projects will continue in the Legends of Lightning tournament, so keep an eye out and cheer them on as they continue their efforts.
A thanks to our sponsors
The sponsors of the Designathon were amazing, and the entire community and project participants are super grateful for their contributions towards the prizes. The winners take home a little something for their creative work.
A venture studio and design agency for bitcoin products. Peak Shift helps startups solve their biggest problems using Design Sprints, and they also launch their own projects.
Bitcoin is more than money; it’s a lifestyle. The mission of Six & Lemon is to promote this idea through apparel inspired by the Bitcoin community. Join them in repping the Bitcoin brand.
Breez is the simplest, fastest, and safest way to spend your bitcoins. They aim to drive bitcoin adoption in everyday commerce by providing seamless Bitcoin usage powered by the Lightning Network.
Are obscure #Bitcoin pop cult/punk mashups your thing? Why not? Check out the Lightning Store.
A Swiss-made, state-of-the-art, hardware wallet. Protect your coins.
You know who you are! You would like to remain mysterious, and that’s perfectly ok! Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to offer participants such great prizes.
We want to thank everyone, from the participants to the sponsors and to all who just dove in and built. To the participants: you thought out your project ideas well and executed them brilliantly. Many participants did not have a designer on the team, yet they pushed on and continued to build, driven by their passion for the bitcoin ecosystem.
When’s the next designation? Who knows? What we know is that we and our participants learned a lot.
We hope to see all the teams shine on and continue building. We are silently (or not so silently) cheering for you from the sidelines!
Our wish is for everyone involved to keep learning, building, and having fun. We hope to continue seeing projects flourish as they are valuable contributions to the ecosystem.
See you in the community.