MIT Bitcoin Summer Competition: BitComp

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One of the world’s leading institutions for research and technology, MIT has recently shown a large interest in Bitcoin. The administration announced that each MIT undergraduate would receive one-hundred dollars worth of Bitcoin in the upcoming fall semester. Hundreds of thousands of  dollars worth of Bitcoin being sent right into the student body is bound to spark intense interest in the highly motivated student body. MIT seems interested in further fostering Bitcoin innovation through multiple projects. They are launching the BitComp to,

inspire and motivate MIT students and alumni to develop Bitcoin related apps.

Over $15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the most impressive apps developed by the students. MIT also held the Bitcoin Expo in early May of 2014, which covered topics ranging from introducing Bitcoin to the masses to providing an introduction to transaction coding.

MIT BTC Club

Bitcoin’s involvement in cryptography, computing, finance, economics, and computer technologies has caught the attention of students at MIT. The MIT Bitcoin Club is a student run organization operating within the university that desires to create a platform where Bitcoin projects, start ups, events, and innovations can be analyzed and discussed. The club organizes activities that raise awareness about Bitcoin and is involved with the universities’ official initiative.

MIT BitComp

BitComp is a summer-long competition designed to motivate the development of innovative Bitcoin applications for use on smart-phones and computers. Five people teams compete in three rounds for the opportunity to win over $15,000 in prizes. No entry fee exists. Individuals may be a part of multiple teams, but can only be the head of one team at a given time. Students are encouraged to prompt staff, alumni, other students, researchers, and individuals from wherever they can draw from to assist in their respective projects. The requirements include that each team must be headed by a current student of MIT or an alum, the work must be original, external funding is not permissible, and that an app can only be submitted once per the three competition rounds. Submission is done online through a web-form.

Prize Categories

Grand Prize

  • The five-thousand dollar grand prize will be awarded to the best application in any topic.

Topic Prizes

  • Fifteen-hundred dollar prizes exist for specific topics:
    • Improving MIT Award: Application or service with most potential for improving some aspect of student life at MIT

    • Engineering Award: Application or service that features impressive engineering or that is effective in demonstrating the capabilities of Bitcoin.

    • Evangelism Award: Best application or service for introducing new users to Bitcoin

    • Next Billion Award: Application or service that best addresses challenges in developing nations

    • Awesome Award: Application, service, or project that’s just plain cool, fun, or creative

Open Topic Prizes

  • This is a completely unrestricted theater in which no other rules apply.
  • Top prize of seven hundred and fifty dollars, though only available in the first two rounds.

Prize Distribution

  • Prize money is distributed to the heads of each winning team.
  • Judging or disqualifying is final, without arbitration.

The specifics and recommended coding platforms have not been announced. This interest by the world’s leading tech university, and the relatively aggressive pushing of Bitcoin, shows that acceptance of Bitcoin among sophisticated circles is growing very quickly. This acceptance, which will likely funnel into financial success, is extremely likely to catch the eye of the masses. MIT is also generating much positive press along with enticing future promising applicants to focus on admission onto its’ campuses. The BitComp competition is expected to produce extremely innovative applications, that will allow the youth to get  hands-on experience with one of the most potentially game-changing inventions of the last few years, Bitcoin.

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