Bitcoin Bankathon - Building the Future of Banking in El Salvador

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October 19, 2021

Tech leaders Open Bank Project, API3, Qredo, and Sovryn invite the open source community to help develop state-of-the-art infrastructure for the future banking system of El Salvador**

Berlin, 19 October 2021⁠ —** Banco Hipotecario announces today the opportunity to participate in the first “Bitcoin Bankathon”, running 3 weeks from November 19th until December 5th. The genesis event is aimed at engaging developers across the globe to build on a technology platform provided by four industry leaders ⁠— Open Bank Project, API3, Qredo, and Sovryn ⁠— to generate novel banking applications that will enable Banco Hipotecario to offer Bitcoin banking and financial services to all Salvadorans.

El Salvador’s adoption of the cryptocurrency opens the path for the country to tap into decentralized financial Bitcoin products, as well as access to alternative sources of global investments.

From November 19th, teams of Web 2.0 & 3.0 coders, designers, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers will spend two weeks collaborating virtually to create working prototypes for their ideas and to build out a new infrastructure that will redesign the future of financial services in El Salvador. During the third week, participants will have the chance to code in the heart of El Salvador.

Hackathon challenges will be based around five challenge tracks:

  • Build the next neobank: What could a more inclusive Bitcoin-enabled neobank for El Salvador look like in 2022?
  • Redesign remittances: How could Bitcoin remittances improve the lives of Salvadorans who rely on money from abroad?
  • Battle climate change: How can banks and crypto companies unite citizens of El Salvador to tackle climate change?
  • Empower women: How can crypto and open banking help increase women’s financial empowerment?
  • Empower merchants: How can we empower merchants using open banking data and smart-contracts?

There will be on-ground and online support for participants. Engineers will help with technical queries, and mentors will provide guidance towards the perfect pitch. All qualifying teams will be eligible to win a portion of a total of $200K in prizes, including for Best Overall Product and Most Advanced Technology.

Registration for the event is now open, and anyone interested in participating in the Bitcoin Bankathon can access a pass here.

“To succeed in creating a more inclusive financial services landscape for the citizens of El Salvador, we must start driving innovation proactively,” says Celina Padilla, President of Banco Hipotecario de El Salvador. “A hackathon is like a seed that allows innovation to sprout. Banco Hipotecario is proud to be the first bank to plant this seed to create innovative Bitcoin-based applications that will remove the barriers preventing Salvadoran citizens from accessing financial services in the region.”

“Most developing countries lack sophisticated financial markets, forced to rely instead on the markets and institutions of traditional global financial hubs like New York or London. With the adoption of Bitcoin, El Salvador gains access to an alternate financial system. This decentralized financial system is open, global, transparent and being built by the world’s best technologists and financial minds. Sovryn is proud to be able to partner with other leading DeFi (decentralized financial) products to bring financial inclusion to Salvadorans that would have been impossible with traditional systems. `` says Edan Yago, Core Contributor at Sovryn.

“Hackathons are always exciting places to be; to generate new business and social ideas, to code, to get exposed to new technologies and processes, to meet new people, to form new partnerships and of course to demonstrate the results of your hacking! But with the introduction of the Bitcoin law in El Salvador and our collaboration with Banco Hipotecario and the leading blockchain companies API3, Qredo and Sovryn, this hackathon promises to be especially dynamic and fruitful!” says Simon Redfern, CEO of TESOBE and founder of the Open Bank Project.

Heikki Vänttinen, co-founder of API3 says,El Salvador has quickly become a global financial leader by decisively adapting its policies to accommodate the next generation of financial technology and embracing the promise it offers for new levels of inclusiveness, privacy and financial security. API3 is extremely proud to be a part of helping to build the tools that are required to bring the benefits of Bitcoin to the entire Salvadoran community.”

“This Hackathon marks the start of Qredo’s long-term commitment to assisting El Salvador’s ambitious programme of Bitcoinization”, notes Josh Goodbody, COO at Qredo, “As an open-source decentralized technology provider, we are proud and excited to help foster the growth of local talent in El Salvador to help enable the next generation of innovation.”

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