Impervious CEO Chase Perkins on the their Inaugural Hackathon

The peer-to-peer future is bright and we couldn’t be more enthused.

Impervious hosted their first hackathon in August and were met with a myriad of incredible entries.

To compete for the grand prize of $25,000 in Bitcoin, entrants had the opportunity to build applications on the Impervious AI in order to demo high-impact use cases of streaming data in a p2p way that counters censorship and surveillance.

Hank Thomas (SCV), Christopher Calicott (Trammel Venture Partners), and Brian Murray (Craft Ventures) judged the event and ultimately picked the grand prize winner.

Strategic Cyber Ventures: What are the coolest takeaways from the results of the hackathon?
Chase Perkins:
I think the most rewarding part was seeing the community coalesce around building peer-to-peer censorship and surveillance resistant technologies, built entirely from the ground up.

One of the participants, Red Phone, built an end-to-end encrypted telephone using lightning nodes in under 72 hours. No one had early access to the code or the APIs, so over the course of a little more than a weekend he built a communications application that operates entirely without intermediaries, middlemen or servers.

It’s rather apparent that we are on the precipice of a rapid transformation for nothing short of the internet itself. The rate and significance of develop efforts of third parties, not even including the standalone applications Impervious will be releasing shortly, is causing the feeling of time dilation.

SCV: Is there anything else you would’ve liked to see?
I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of what will transpire in the next few months and preceding years. There are a number of directions in which developers can build peer-to-peer tools and functions within applications leveraging Impervious.

We don’t want to unnecessarily place bounds on artists, but I’d like to see the parties that participated either continue to develop projects they started or explore potentialities they hadn’t initially considered or didn’t have time for during the hackathon. It’s interesting because people were so creative that I think some of the more obvious use cases were avoided. Utilizing our VPN or showcasing end-to-end streaming video would have been arbitrarily simple, so participants creatively demonstrated fully productized original applications and services.

It was interesting to see participants add layers of complexity and real-world application. The most impressive part was that they were able to productize our technology under such limiting time constraints, which was inspiring for the team and community writ large.

SCV: Did you have a personal favorite entry?
The finalists were all ultra impressive. I think the projects that either continue development post-hackathon or inspire others to appreciate that a peer-to-peer internet standard is not an abstraction or hypothetical, but a viable reality today, will prove to be our favorites.

SCV: Will this be a recurring event? What would you change for next year?
Our plan is to host hackathons on a recurring basis. It’s pretty clear that it’s mutually beneficial for Impervious and an excellent opportunity for the community to assess the developments, so we’d like to continue to support the development and the developer community. Conversations that transpired on our discord channel have created an excellent knowledge base for developers interested in utilizing Impervious to build peer-to-peer applications or specific functionality within existing services or platforms.

I want to highlight the accomplishments and the parties that put so much effort and thought into their projects. The projects were nothing short of professional development initiatives, and even the parties that aren’t full time developers put a significant amount of thought and time into their concepts and applications. So whether it’s next month, or at minimum of every quarter, we’ll be back soon with another hackathon.

To recap:

World Computer — first place:

The World Computer, our grand prize winner, John Cantrell, which is a pseudonym for a character in one of my favorite books, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stevenson. The World Computer essentially allows for the incentivization of any programmable operation or service, meaning developers can monetize any service, request or operation worldwide, without fear of censorship or requiring a bank account. There are innumerable potential applications for The World Computer, in particular incentivized data storage, computational operations and on demand machine learning based tasks. Shortly following the Impervious Hackathon, John won a Square Crypto grant for his proposal, which included the World Computer, so we’re excited for him to continue developing his project.

Bitswarm — Second Place:

Bitswarm provides a marketplace for torrent seeds, incentivized and paid via Lightning. Bitswarm enables incentivized, encrypted file hosting and storage, without requiring the invention of a new blockchain or token.

Bitswarm received well deserved recognition from Marty Bent for accomplishing what so many have tried and failed to achieve over the years. Moreover, two members of the Bitswarm team turned out to be local, so I was able to meet them the day after the Hackathon. The Bitswarm team — Asher, Ozzy, and Paul — have significant plans to further develop the platform’s functionality and capabilities. I think Bitswarm will prove to be a starting glimpse of a much more ambitious and high-impact project. We’re excited to continue to track and support their development efforts.

Goss — Third Place:

Goss is a p2p gossip chat room that utilizes our messaging and federation APIs to deliver secure and anonymous chat. Nick Theile explains that the project was inspired by a Discord conversation about “[whether] it is possible to send gossip to an entire federation rather than just point to point messaging.” There are a number of command and control possibilities using Goss to programmatically communicate and execute functions across a federation of computers.

Red Phone — Fourth Place

Red Phone (by Pseudozach) is an end-to-end encrypted telephone for your lightning node, that is powered by Impervious and allows for serverless audio communications and signaling between peers! Built in under 72 hours, Red Phone is a phenomenal example for what can be built or modified with Impervious in a very truncated period of time. A crowd favorite, check out Red Phone on Github!

Discord Bot— Fifth Place

Discord Bot allows command and control of Impervious nodes via Discord chat. Discord Bot demonstrate the potential of utilizing Impervious to exert command and control of applications or entire federations of nodes from a simple chat/messaging app.

Arcade City — Sixth Place

Arcade City was developed to demonstrate the possibilities surrounding peer-to-peer services built on Impervious that had previously failed using other means and approaches.

SCV: What’s next for the Impervious team?
Moving forward consumers should understand that if an application, service or platform isn’t streaming peer-to-peer, that they’ll need to justify and clearly articulate to end users for what purposes they are retaining user data or why a specific feature like in-app messaging or video isn’t peer-to-peer streaming and fully encrypted.

In addition to seeing new systems, applications and services built on Impervious, including implementation of our API’s at enterprise scale, we have several products in development that we are confident will materially transform how we share, consumer, broadcast and monetize content.

The peer-to-peer future is bright and we couldn’t be more enthused.

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