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Byteball Bot War - Winner Announcement

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byteball.org
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4 months agoSteemit12 min read

Over a period of only 4 weeks, 6 contestants managed to complete their projects and build a Byteball Chat Bot completely from scratch. To understand the massive achievement this represents for each of the developers, one must realize that during the course of the contest, they had to do everything such as setting up development environments, learning the features provided by the Byteball platform and most importantly: conceive an idea and be able to realize it.

On behalf of the entire Byteball Staff and in particular the Jury of this contest, we want to express our deepest respect for the stellar work each and every one of the contestants put forth.

GitHub Attestation Bot by @drsensor

The Github Attestation Bot created for this contest displays an impressive learning curve and mastery of tools used. The bot itself is rather simple, yet provides an important opportunity for Byteball to allow users to attest their Github names. Obviously, this could be used to allow Github users to send payments to each other without the need to know wallet addresses.

Interesting use cases could be sending small tips for bug-reports, and requesting assistance with set bounties on specific tasks. Some would require further development of the bot and deeper integration with Github, but with the Github attestation bot, all of those possibilities just moved one step closer to being real.

Another highly interesting outcome of @drsensor’s achievements is the extremely useful tips and hints and the skillfully created flowcharts, brilliantly showing the communication between a headless wallet, a Byteball hub and a user’s wallet. Even for non-coders, flowcharts like that are easy to follow and generally add value to the Byteball ecosystem in helping others understand how the platform works:




The useful tools that allow a developer to build and test changes to the bot in real time definitely also deserve a round of applause.

Error Fare Bot by @angr

What has been achieved on the Error Fare Bot is quite impressive. To be able to develop a bot from scratch that has an HTTP API, while being on honeymoon definitely takes … well … (Byte)balls.

The overall idea explores the opportunity to create a subscription-based service that allows users to subscribe to specific events that could potentially be anything from links to newspaper articles, crypto notifications, updates to code on a repository on Github or, as in this case, notification of price errors that a user can take advantage of to get unreasonably low-cost flight tickets.

The tools used and in particular the Simple Notification Service of Amazon Web Services, as described in this last progress report, is nothing short of a brilliant move. This allows the chat bot to be sent messages as if they are from an external source in a quick and easy-to-manage way. This little trick will definitely prove valuable to other developers that need to test integration of external sites to a chatbot:


The possibilities of this bot are vast, and it will definitely be interesting to see the impact of providing a crypto-based service to non-crypto users. @angr suggested the use of the service to be subsidized by Byteball as a means of distribution that would allow new users to have a balance immediately without a need to first acquire Bytes elsewhere. We’ll stay in touch and see if we can find a way to further explore this suggestion as it would not only provide an incentive for new users to try out the platform, but also provide a very relevant use case from the very moment they install their wallet for the first time.

Carpooling for Byteballers by pmiklos (@byteball.market)

For four consecutive weeks, feature after feature got added to the Carpooling for Byteballers Bot in what turned out to be an incredibly ambitious project requiring tight integration between a bot and an oracle.

Generally, the bot allows passengers to book a ride from A to B with a driver. Passengers deposit money for the ride on a smart contract where it will remain out of reach for passengers and driver until the car reaches the destination.



In order to determine when the car has arrived, the GPS position gets fed to the Oracle from both passengers and driver. This way, the driver cannot fake having made the trip and passengers would be requested to confirm their GPS position before exiting the car. Of course, they can just run off, but that also applies to existing car pooling services like Uber.

During the last week of the contest, pmiklos added a feature allowing passengers to chat with each other (normally only possible between 2 wallets) through the bot as well as handle the payment processing. Another very important improvement is the possibility for users to simply click links to reserve a seat on a ride being offered.

As a final touch, the bot now generates an easy link to click in order for passengers to confirm that they arrived at the agreed destination. The link directs to a website developed to support this feature of the bot.

The number of features for this bot is borderline insane considering the 4 week contest period during which everything was built, and yet, there are still plenty of possible improvements to be made to the service like automatic completion of rides on behalf of the driver.

While the idea of carpooling is far from new at first glance, the ability to do it without the need for intermediaries holding funds is indeed not seen before.

A lot of bus companies operate as privately held companies with as little as one bus and a driver. This solution could - with some tweaks - be brought to act as an online booking system, ticket payment platform, personal security solution as well as a way of allowing countries without previous history of mobile payment solutions to take a massive step forward without the need for payment processors or intermediaries.

Social Boost Bot by Andrii (@opposition)

Ever since the announcement of the Byteball Bot War, the Social Boost Bot project kept progressing at a mind boggling pace. The concept is to use a Byteball bot to allow users to either earn Bytes by upvoting blog posts on the Steem blockchain, or to offer payment for upvotes to other Byteball users. In effect, an economic ecosystem within the Byteball ecosystem has seen the light of day!


Already at the beginning of the contest, the idea was very well described and an ambitious but realistic plan to achieve a minimum viable product was announced. And there is no doubt Andrii is a highly skilled developer. Not a single task that he set his mind to achieving during the 4 week period was missed. That’s definitely a rarity in the highly creative artform that is development.

The Social Boost bot integrates deeply with the Steem blockchain, and is able to extract information about the user based on his username and a provided posting key. This exact step of the processes that the bot offers, could probably benefit from the steem connect v2 created by another Byteball veteran, @fabien.

The bot offers a full-blown menu system, that easily allows the user to navigate between the different sections of the bot. Particularly, the feature to see the current status of an ordered “boost” is a nice addition, that wasn’t originally planned for in the MVP specification.

There are countless possibilities for improving on this bot, such as integrating with other social networks like YouTube, Medium, Facebook, Twitter etc. and it will be incredibly interesting to follow the project as its full potential is gradually realized.

Know-it-all Bot by @whoisterencelee

Bringing users in a community together while remaining attractive to new users is a core characteristic of extreme importance. The Know-it-all Bot by @whoisterencelee aims to explore this exact element.

The bot allows a user to ask a question that will then be distributed to other users of the bot. They can then post an answer to the question, and if the asker has set a bounty and picks your answer as the best one, you get the bounty.


While the concept may initially sound simple it quickly becomes clear that this is in fact not an easy service to pull off at all. Keeping track of questions and which users should get which bounties will quickly become challenging and to be part of this exploratory journey throughout the contest period has been really amazing.

This complexity led to an entire weekly progress report being dedicated to taking a holistic view on the path the project was headed and making some highly valuable assessments about which features would be required and what structure had to be established.

One very important aspect of the bot is that it will not only be a simple question-answer interface, but can potentially act as a unified hub for other bots where users would ask questions to other users of that bot. Once again, this will require some additional features and keeping track of which user of which bot asked/answered a question.

Byteball Donation Bot by @genievot

After an initial progress report in week 1 of the Byteball Bot War the project went silent. Even after checking the GitHub repository we haven’t been able to find any progress related to the initial idea of creating a tipping bot, that allows website owners to put a link on their page that will open the bot when a user clicks it and offer a donation.

While the idea is definitely great, and that there will definitely be a need for a tipping-like service allowing readers of a blog or other medium to donate to the author, it doesn’t really require a chat bot to be realized

Perhaps this was the reason that the idea seems to have been ditched before it even got started

General Observations

During the contest, it has been an honour to be able to follow our participants in their quest to build the perfect bot. While some took special care to ensure a sustainable and potentially profitable use case, others focused mainly on features and the overall concept of their bot.

There are countless aspects to take into consideration when creating a new chat bot, and to a large extent most contestants managed to check all those marks that we as a jury looked for.

The thing that distinguish a good idea from a stellar is whether or not the use case provides a solution to a real world problem in a way that wouldn’t be possible to do better with existing solutions or services. To really shine, a new chat bot must reduce friction of an existing process, provide a brand new approach to solving an existing problem and to some extent make sure to keep the users of the service in mind.

We generally believe that all the finished bots fulfill those requirements. The technical excellence displayed in the projects show great care and really thought through ideas, and it is clear that, apart from one contestant, all managed to solve the problem they initially set out to solve.

One final note for our contestants before announcing the winners is to once again remind everyone of the Byteball Grants Program. If this contest has sparked new ideas that you wish to realize but you will need assistance for graphic design, development assistance or funding, the Byteball Grants Program provides exactly that.

Winners of the First Byteball Bot War contest

The jury decided to award the third place and the $250 worth of Bytes to a bot that introduces an entirely new form of economic model to the Byteball platform. The third place goes to:

3rd place: Error Fare Bot by @AnGr



In second place, the jury decided to award a bot that establishes a link between the Byteball platform and social media platforms in a way that provides financial incentive to becoming and remaining a Byteball user. The second place and the $500 worth of Bytes goes to:

2nd place: Social Boost Bot by Andrii (@opposition)



The first place in this very first version of the Byteball Bot War is awarded to a bot that stands out in the way that it not only adds a new use case, but also introduces the Byteball platform to a whole new audience. By implementing several new features, the jury unanimously decided that the first prize and the $1000 worth of Bytes goes to:

1st place: Carpooling for Byteballers by pmiklos (@byteball.market)


Congratulations to each of the three winners, who will also receive one of the rare Use-a-thon winner tokens!

The race for the three prizes was indeed tight, and the jury would therefore like to extend an Honourable Mention to @drsensor for his GitHub attestation bot as well as to @whoisterencelee for his Know-it-all bot. Each will receive an Honourable Mention token as proof of their excellent and engaging participation in the Byteball Bot War.

Prizes will be transferred directly to each of the three winners and this post will be updated as soon as the transactions are made.

On behalf of the Byteball core team, the Byteball Bot War Jury of Xjenek, Punqtured and Slackjore sends their best wishes to all Byteballers and everyone who followed the contest over the course of the 4 weeks.

We wish all of you a prosperous New Year!

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