Pinata has been a mainstay at ETHDenver. Having originally been created at the ETHBerlin hackathon in 2018, Pinata has a deep love for developers in the web3 space, especially those participating in hackathons like ETHDenver. After last year’s virtual hiatus, Pinata was back in person at ETHDenver this year, and this time, we packed our computers!
For those who don’t know, a hackathon is a gathering where developers work in teams on building something out of nothing in a short timed period - hence the verbiage, hacking. Hackathons are notorious for bringing about new, innovative concepts to life. In other words, it's a live, in-action event where new ideas, products, and even companies are formed.
Aside from sponsoring the event, being available for IPFS and NFT related questions, and presenting on the topic of protecting NFT data with IPFS/CIDs, we also participated in the hackathon.
Hackathon (or, should we say BUIDLathon)
As with every ETHDenver event, the hackathon was truly the main event. There were over 170 teams participating in the in-person hackathon. Another 58 participated in the virtual hackathon. Pinata decided to participate in the hackathon for two reasons:
- We ❤️ developers and wanted to be in the thick of things with the incredible builders in the web3 community.
- We had an idea for a product and we couldn’t find time to get it built during business hours.
So we sent a hacking team comprised of our CTO (Matt Ober), our Director of Digital Marketing (Sarah Dutra), our Creative Directory (Ashley Shin), and our Head of Product (Justin Hunter). Matt and Justin focused on the coding while Sarah and Ashley whipped up some marketing page copy and designs.
We all learned a lot about the chaotic and creative process of building in a short time span. Our project was ultimately a success. We finished by Saturday evening and submitted the app first thing Sunday morning on the final day of the hackathon. We’re pretty proud of what we ended up with.
Last fall, we released our private media feature called Submarine. The feature has been incredibly popular, but we noticed a trend. It was too technical, and it felt like only developers could use the functionality. Pinata is built for the technical community AND the non-technical community, so we quickly envisioned an app that would make Submarining more approachable for non-technical creators.
The process to Submarine a file is fairly straightforward. You upload a file, mark it to be Submarined, and then it gets an IPFS CID but is not available on the public IPFS network without an access token. The access token is where things get tricky. Creators told us they wanted to share special content with their fans but had trouble leveraging NFT ownership to unlock that special content. Submarine is supposed to be the perfect solution to this. And it has been…for developers.
Submarine.me is a simple web application that allows creators to upload a private file, choose how that file should be unlocked (initially we are only supporting NFT ownership as the unlock mechanism, but more options will be coming), and add details about the Submarined file. These creators would get a share link that they can post on Twitter, Discord, Telegram, or wherever they’d like. They wouldn’t have to worry about unauthorized people gaining access to the media because the link takes people to a page that requires the visitor to unlock the content. Don’t have the proper NFT? You can’t get the media.
Below is a quick demo of Submarine.me in action:
Returning to our roots and participating in an Ethereum hackathon was a ton of fun, but it was also productive. We now have a new product that we can release and experiment with thanks to the participation. Submarine.me is available to all customers on our Picnic Plan with a Dedicated Gateway.