From September 28th-29th, TOP Network teamed up with Rockway Blockchain, Binance Labs, Oasis Labs, and Matic to host the first global blockchain hackathon in Prague. Blockchain developers from twelve different countries showed up to participate, making it the largest blockchain hackathon in Prague to date.
We had an amazing experience co-hosting, and the two day event turned out to be a huge success! After a few activities, the hackers quickly formed into teams and began building their projects. For 36 hours, the hackers worked tirelessly to develop their projects and compete for a piece of the 12,000 EUR prize pool. At the end of the second day, each team showcased and presented what they had built.
Out of all the teams, four successfully completed a full-featured working demonstration, three of which were based on TOP Chain. Following the presentations, TOP Network selected two winning teams: Team Defy, and Team Backstreet Hodlers.
Team Defy — Fingerprint-Based Decentralized ID and Authentication System.
Team Defy built a fingerprint-based Decentralized ID (DID) and Authentication system using TOP Chain. Fingerprint generation, encoding, storage and comparison functions were implemented by the team using programmable security hardware chips, while DIDs were issued and verified using TOP Chain Smart Contracts.
The team developed iOS and Android Apps to connect the fingerprint mechanisms and TOP Chain to build an identity system complete with identity information generation and storage, DID issuance, verification, and fingerprint-based authorization. With this system, you can use TOP DID and user fingerprints to facilitate secure one-finger authorization on any third-party system.
Team Defy combined programmable security hardware, TOP Chain, and a mobile App to form a full-featured, working system. The application was a good display of the prospects of TOP DID, and the fingerprint-based innovations earned the team the respect of the hackers.
Team Defy also used this authentication system to implement a p2p distributed file storage system similar to Sia Coin or IPFS. The DID Authentication System is used to securely handle read and write authorization as it pertains to the p2p file storage network.
The distributed file storage system works by breaking down a file into many small chunks, encrypting them, and then finding nodes to store each chunk. Hashes of the files combined with fingerprint data are stored on TOP Chain. Each chunk of every file is stored redundantly in several nodes so that even if a few nodes go down, those chunks will still be retrievable. When a user wants to access a file, there is a verification process using fingerprints and the DID Authorization System, after which the chunks can be recombined to form the original file.
As we all know, blockchains are not good at storing large amounts of data. Therefore, establishing a distributed storage system and using blockchain for authentication and to reward nodes for storing files is crucial for the development of any public chain. This challenge won the acclaim of all the hackers during the demonstration, and it was beyond our expectation that a team would choose such a difficult direction.
Unfortunately, this was not one of the major challenges we announced before the start of hackathon, and according to the rules of the organizing committee, there can only be one award per topic, so it is regrettable that this part of the project could not also be awarded as a challenge. However, we are very impressed with what Team Defy accomplished.
The team has plans to optimize the system in the future by making the authentication mechanism more secure, and improving the way in which the system monitors how long each node stores each file so that compensation via TOP Token is more accurate and fair.
Team Backstreet Hodlers — Delivery DApp over TOP Network
The other winning team selected by TOP Network was the Backstreet Hodlers. They built a delivery tracking and payment DApp using TOP Chain and TOP smart contracts.
The DApp allows sellers to send packages to buyers peer-2-peer in a trustless fashion. They used TOP smart contracts as an escrow agent. When the sender mails a package to the buyer, the funds in TOP tokens are sent to the smart contract to be held in escrow. The smart contract will only disburse the funds to the seller after the package has been confirmed to have arrived at the buyer’s destination.
This kind of system will be necessary for any p2p marketplace to protect the interests of sellers and buyers, so there is a clear use case. In fact, this type of system has a wide range of real-life applications. Decentralized p2p express delivery will likely play a big role in the future of the package delivery industry, both for more developed countries such as China or the US, and for regions such as Africa and South America which rely more heavily on individuals than big corporations for many services.
The idea has both great exploratory and commercial value. Given the potential and overall achievement, team Backstreet Hodlers was presented with the Open Track award. Here is how they plan to improve the DApp in the future:
Although not a winner, one of the teams developed a p2p Chat DApp based on TOP Chain. Although the interface was rough, and the display was not overly impressive, it is still technically noteworthy, as it had the basic functions of a decentralized social chat DApp. It also demonstrates the ability to build decentralized communications on TOP Chain.
Over the course of the hackathon, TOP Chain aroused great interest from participating hackers due to its novel architecture and technical advantages. TOP CTO Taylor Wei mentored the hackers and provided full technical support throughout the event. In all, the hackers used TOP Chain to develop projects including p2p storage, proxy voting, a fingerprint-based decentralized authentication system, p2p chat, and a decentralized delivery system.
Talks and Workshops
The hackers were also treated to some insightful talks and workshops from Rockaway, TOP Network, and the other partners. TOP Network’s CTO Taylor Wei gave a great presentation on TOP Chain, and introduced the developers to the TOP Network technology stack.
Viktor Fischer — managing partner of Rockaway Blockchain — gave a talk about the current state of the blockchain space, the path to mass adoption, and the rationale behind which projects they choose to invest in.
Rockaway Blockchain — among the major investors in TOP Network — is one of the largest blockchain funds in Europe. During his presentation, Viktor mentioned why they chose to invest in TOP Network alongside other high-profile projects such as Facebook’s Libra, FileCoin, Brave, Binance and more. The reasons being real use cases, and strong fundamentals.
We are thrilled with the outcome of TOP Network’s debut hackathon. This was the first time third-party developers were able to get their hands dirty and try out TOP Chain for themselves. The teams showed a lot of interest in TOP Network, and built some amazing projects on TOP Chain.
In particular, Team Defy and Team Backstreet Hodlers were able to develop high-quality practical DApps on TOP Network in only 36 hours. These hackers used TOP Chain to build DApps with actual uses cases, and real potential. We hope they will continue to develop their projects into working products in the future.
Importantly, the test net worked great, and its smooth operation finally took TOP Chain from a concept to a practical public chain platform. We believe as TOP Chain improves and continues to push technical boundaries, more and more developers will be attracted to develop killer blockchain applications on our platform.
We would like to give a big thanks to everyone who helped organize the event, and to all the teams and hackers that participated. Fantastic job!
See you at the next hackathon!