TonicPow’s BSV hackathon success story: From widget to promotion marketplace

Luke Rohenaz stumbled upon Bitcoin as far back as 2011, at a time when it was starting to become popular on the internet. However, it was when he learned about the inaugural Bitcoin SV Hackathon in May 2019 that he set out to build his first Bitcoin project. Known as TonicPow, it started off as a little widget that you could put on your website, but it has since then evolved into an advertising ecosystem using Bitcoin to solve decade-old challenges.

The inaugural Bitcoin SV Hackathon took place in early May 2019, bringing together 200 developers to compete for the 400 BSV prize pool. These developers submitted 36 projects and had only 48 hours to work on these projects, all built around the theme of the Hackathon—better onboarding.

TonicPow, a project by Luke Rohenaz, Atilla Aros and Austin Rappaport, took second place in that hackathon. As Rohenaz told Bitcoin Association, TonicPow came about because the three were always interested in creating applications that wouldn’t require users to own any Bitcoin to get started.

“Giving people a way to earn bitcoin was a natural way around the problem,” he noted.

TonicPow started out as “a little widget that you could put on your website to let out advertising space.” Since then, it has quickly evolved, and while it still offers the widgets, they represent a small part of its products. Today, it’s a promotion marketplace “where brands can bring whatever they’re offering to the world, create a campaign and find relevant promoters.”

TonicPow relies on the microtransaction capability of the BSV network to allow brands to pay their promoters. When a promoter generates a click or a conversion, they receive a small amount of money from the company.

Rohenaz attributes the success of TonicPow in the Hackathon to the formidable team that he formed with his two partners. Even before the theme of the Hackathon was announced, they had already listed about 30 ideas for a project. Having to complete the project in 48 hours “was a little bit nuts,” but they managed to get it done.

Rohenaz acknowledges that the advertising industry is dominated by giants such as Google and Facebook, and he insists he’s not looking to topple them overnight.

“Although we’re not a replacement for existing platforms, we’re competing with them by building something that works really well and solves many problems in that industry.”

He noted that there’s no better blockchain network to build on than BSV enterprise blockchain. “It’s by far the best tool available to build just about anything,” he said. One of the things that have made building on BSV easier is the toolsets other developers have built.

That said, the BSV ecosystem is not there yet. We still need better tooling to make developers’ work easier and allow them to focus on innovation.

Watch Luke Rohenaz share TonicPow’s BSV Hackathon success story:

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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