$50,000 Ethereum 'Hackathon' Launches

Ahead of tomorrow morning's expected hard fork of the Ethereum network, the #2 cryptocurrency technology after Bitcoin itself is already attracting plenty of added attention this week.

Coinbase CEO and co-founder Brian Armstrong sounded off on the looming hard fork with a tweet:

Aside from Coinbase star power, Ethereum is likely to benefit from a positive news cycle as a major $50,000 coder competition or "hackathon" focused around the technology launched this morning.

Interested participants and bystanders can learn more at hack.ether.camp. The competition is hosted by Ethereum's block explorer and contract analysis tool .

The winning app creator gets $50,000 in Bitcoin, Ether, or any other major cryptocurrency of their choosing - at current market rates, that would be about 74.5 BTC or 4,500 ETH. Not too shabby!

The competition's second season, submissions to the hackathon will be reportedly judged by a 13 member panel featuring prominent experts from the Ethereum and Bitcoin communities. A trailer provided by the competition is embedded below.

Ethereum is the second most valuable blockchain technology, with a market cap of about US $910 million. And for those still wondering what Ethereum does... Ethereum.org describes the technology as a "decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.

These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk."

Full disclosure: Not financial advice, provided for educational purposes only. Not intended as a recommendation to buy or sell any cryptocurrency or asset. At time of publication, I do hold some bitcoins and ethers in my long term portfolio.