Solving the problems of today’s internet is a tall order for anyone, but the third-place winners of the 4th Bitcoin SV Hackathon are up for the challenge.
CATN8 is an online video platform that makes use of peer-to-peer SPV (simplified payment verification) wallets for micropayments, and with this, its creators aim to revolutionize online video streaming. Two of the platform’s founders, Marcel Gruber and Dave Foderick, join Jon Southurst on The Bitcoin Bridge to discuss their project and how they ultimately bagged $20,000 for their idea.
CATN8’s platform enables viewers to “pay as they go” while watching streaming content, using a stream of micropayments to the content creator. Gruber explains, the idea was born out of a need to give people an alternative over the highly commercialized platforms of today.
“Part of the problem is that you have this lock-in with any of these platforms, and in a way, it’s kind of unavoidable,” Gruber said. “Let’s face it, YouTube and Twitch, they are great. They do a lot of good, but there are drawbacks especially as their services become more commercialized over time.”
For Foderick, it’s about breaking away from the “monthly subscription model,” from subscriptions that users typically pay for with their credit cards.
“We want to do microtransactions and really use bitcoin for microtransactions,” Foderick explained. “[We want to] really provide an experience where people can go online with their wallet and take their money from site to site without being locked in a subscription.”
With CATN8, payments do not have to go just one way. Foderick says they’re also investigating other models, including paying users to watch ads.
Tough challenge at the Bitcoin SV Hackathon
Unfortunately, the quest to rival giant streaming platforms is not without its challenges, especially when you’re using a novel concept.
One thing that they had to contend with throughout the process of building CATN8, Gruber says, is transaction fatigue.
“If you think about paying for a stream segment by segment, nobody really wants to see their balance going down over time,” he explained.
Aside from this, there are also bots trying to game the system to earn money from watching ads. And Gruber says they had to detect and deal with bot traffic in real time during the Bitcoin SV Hackathon, making their task all the more difficult.
Despite the hardships, though, Gruber and Foderick say the experience of creating CATN8 during the 4th Bitcoin SV Hackathon was incredible.
“I love the hackathons, just because they’re a mini incubator, and you can develop your ideas,” Foderick said.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Gruber said. “They really made us work for that prize money, but it was well worth it and a really great time.”
Building ‘the next Internet’
The work’s not yet over for CATN8’s founders. Gruber, Foderick, and their third teammate Thor have bigger goals for their company.
“What we’re seeing in the space in BSV now is there are a lot of people putting in a lot of hard work behind the scenes,” Gruber said. “There are synergies forming that you don’t see on the surface, and so we want to connect with other people in the space and identify opportunities.”
“There are problems with the internet as we know it today,” Foderick said. “We’re trying to apply some things from bitcoin to solve the problems of the current internet so we can build what I call ‘The Next Internet.'”
Watch the full interview to hear the complete story behind CATN8 and how its founders intend to change the internet as we know it.
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