The IBM Blockchain Hackathon in NYC started on Friday at Galvanize at 315 Hudson Street in Soho. After IBM Director Bruce Weed and IBM VP Ray Stevens introduced Blockchain and various community efforts that are supported around blockchain, Eileen Lowry & Dale Avery spoke about blockchain use cases and hyperledger. We were also given some amazing news – that the hackathon participants will have access to brand new blockchain functionality on Bluemix, which is not available to anyone else yet.

Early evening presenters and participant registration with orange dots for teams seaking members and green dots for those available to join teams

On arrival, the participants were taken to a “special table” to answer questions. Here is a list of some of the questions and answers:

What pushed you to participate in the hackathon?

Good place to get in depth info on blockchain
Want to know as much as possible about it
Finding talent
To see what smart people are working on
Learn and network
Go from playing to developing
To learn more about IBM’s capabilities and meet people
No more white papers
Learn and apply into my work


Will you take some of what you saw this weekend back to your day-to-day work?

Incorporate in product
Build a better community for customer
To share the knowledge and build better apps
Use it to get work
Build new project
Build solutions
Use/Introduce in my group


What are your/your organization’s goals when it comes to blockchain?

To disrupt the business world
To model the world
To change the world
Explore new frontiers
Tech Evolution
Focus on existing business goals
To make our savings predictions more accessible and scalable
Separate wheat from chaff
Change development effort for risk & compliance regulatory drive
Proof of concept pilots, security, levels of permissions
Protect data
Integrate blockchain into legacy systems
Peer to peer finance

People started working in teams – and even began to debug

Networking and team forming occurred in two parts:
There were two networking sessions to help teams to form. Teams or individuals who had a blockchain idea were identified at registration by an orange dot on their badges. Individuals who were looking for a team to join were identified by a green dot. When they arrived, some networking took place. Introductory presentations were given, and people who had ideas for blockchain projects presented. It looked two fledgling teams were forming. A networking break occurred, and on return more people presented as well as some newcomers, and a total of 6 teams emerged.
Provision was made for the unprepared and for the unassigned – They were led by Ian Hall and Guy Hochstetler. By the end of the evening there eight teams actively working on their projects. One team got as far as debugging their code.


Eight Teams Formed:

We were given many hints and ideas by the participants. One strong recommendation from a blockchain mentor called VC, was that suitable blockchain use cases have to be multi-party. At the end of Friday evening, these were the blockchain hackathon teams that had formed:

  1. BlocHackersThis team arrived with their idea around energy savings
  2. The Green TeamThe fist team to be formed around an idea presented by an attendee
  3. SpreadsheetThe presenter of this idea wanted to put spreadsheets on the blockchain
  4. Music This team formed around a musician and evolved through the two team forming stages
  5. MedRec This is one of the second stage teams
  6. Wheelhouse Themes around police safety in NYC
  7. VaccineA late arrival at the hackathon presented his idea around the lifecycle of vaccine and various responsible parties. It became clear that the project incorporates IoT, when the presenter pulled out various devices from his bag to support the concept
  8. PayOnTime!The final team to be formed. Its members appeared to be from the unprepared group of attendees

The names of the teams are temporary, and may evolve. IBM mentors were assigned to all the teams to help them develop their ideas & code.

Teams persuaded to leave at 9pm:
It was difficult to get the teams to break up at 9pm as planned at the end of hackathon Friday. The energy levels were high. Diagrams and ideas written on tables and walls were all marked with large DO NOT ERASE signs in case the cleaners wiped away the precious concepts.
Will we still be eight blockchain hackathon teams tomorrow?

This blog entry shortlink : https://wp.me/p6tTze-1TY

A small video to remember the evening:

Some tweets on Friday follow:


Pokemons at the hackathon:


Blockchain in Polish – by IBMers presenting to the Polish government. A hackathon attendee understood the video in Polish:

1 comment on"Blockchain Hackathon Teams: Will We Be Eight Tomorrow?"

  1. Theresa Alfonso October 12, 2016

    I am really proud to have had the newest members of my team, Devin Davis and Jamal Paige participate in this event. Great!! job.

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