Build on Bitcoin to create a “better platform for Web3,” according to the inventor of the Lightning contest.
A tournament to find and support new Bitcoin companies could be a way to get developers from Web3 ecosystems to switch to Bitcoin.
In a bear market, you can start a bitcoin business. At least, that’s what the Legends of Lightning, a nine-week contest for competing Bitcoin businesses, seems to show.
The hackathon-style tournament took place in more than 65 places around the world, and 73 projects competed to win 3 BTC, which is equal to $50,000. The winners of the different competition tracks, Global Adoption and Building for Africa, were Bitcoin startups Lightsats, Mutiny Wallet, and AgriMint.
The competition was put on by the Bitcoin startup Bolt Fun and brought together 260 builders, developers, startuppers, and hackers from all over the world. Johns Beharry, co-founder of Bolt Fun and founder and CEO of Peak Shift, told Cointelegraph through Google Meet that the hackathon is the biggest one in the Bitcoin economy so far. “There is nothing even close to this,” he said.
“Onboard new makers into the ecosystem, innovate on bitcoin and lightning, and help new or existing projects incubate their ideas and make their dreams come true,” was the goal of the competition.
The competition also shows off the Bitcoin development space as a place to build, tinker, and try out new ideas in ways that would impress Web3 builders. Edward Pratt, cofounder of Bolt Fun and senior product designer, said that the team at Bolt Fun is laser-focused on pushing Bitcoin adoption by building companies and expanding the Bitcoin community into other areas:
“The point is that other developer ecosystems are very large.” We want to do what we can to get people to think about and pay attention to bitcoin on the application layer.
Ethereum and Polkadot have more developers than Bitcoin does. Bitcoin is by far the biggest and most well-known cryptocurrency, but data suggests that developers and builders don’t flock to it.
Pratt and Beharry come to the conclusion that Web3 ecosystems like Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Polkadot, and Cosmos are taking interest and talent away from building Bitcoin, even though Bitcoin is the only decentralised infrastructure worth building on. The Legends of Lightning competition is a way to fix this problem and show how many different ways there are to build on Bitcoin.
Solana Hackathons have huge prizes, and this summer, over 350 projects competed to win a $5 million treasure chest. The Legends of Lightning, on the other hand, gave one of the 73 competing projects 3 BTC ($50,000), which was one-hundredth of the total prize money.
Pratt went on, “It shows how different the Bitcoin ecosystem is from others, like the Solana ecosystem.” In the end, the Bitcoin space is in competition with Web3 playgrounds like Solana and Ethereum for builders and developers.
The winner of the competition, Lightsats, built their project around an idea that Bitcoin entrepreneur Brad Mills had shared in a Tweet. The tweet triggered a chain reaction that resulted in the rapid creation of bitcoins.Lightsats built their “Precoiner onramp project” in just a few weeks, gave it to the Bolt Fun team, and won the Global Adoption competition.
Pratt said that one way to get more people to use Bitcoin and build on it is to reach out to developers who work in other ecosystems. “We want to go after people on the edges of crypto and Web 3,” Pratt said. “The question is, how do we get the stories to speak to those people?”
Beharry joked that it could happen on its own: “Your Web3 platform is offline; Bitcoin fixes this,” he said, referring to the many times the Solana blockchain just stopped working.
The Legends of Lightning team wants to hold the event every year with bigger prizes, more people participating, and more creative ideas. The goal is to have 1,000 people sign up next year, which is a big jump from where it is now.