Diffusion 2019
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Diffusion 2019

Your journey to Diffusion 2019

Hi builders! By this time you’ve probably heard about Diffusion, Outlier Ventures’ hackathon and developer conference happening on 19–20 October in Berlin. Less than three weeks from now, over 350 developers will be building on 20+ protocols spanning over 50M lines of open source code.

At Outlier and our partners for Diffusion we’re hard at work making sure you’ll have an amazing experience hacking on the bleeding edge of Web 3.0. But what can you do? Here goes!

Step 1: Register! First and foremost, you and all your teammates need to register individually. Haven’t done that yet? Then what are you still doing here, sign up now and get back when you’re done!

Beyond that, let’s look at team formation, the 10 Diffusion tracks and further things you can do in the weeks leading up to the event.

Team up

Teams at Diffusion 2019 consist of a maximum of five people. We’re seeing a lot of people register as a full team, such as startups, software development houses and enterprise development teams, and that’s a great way to join Diffusion.

Are you still on your own and looking for teammates? No worries! In the registration area you can find other people looking for a team by their skills and interests, and send them a message to team up. And it’s completely okay to go solo, or join as a smaller team.

SIGN UP NOW (limited places apply)

Choose your track

With 10 tracks to choose from, which one is for you? Each track comes with its own challenges, mentors, judges, special benefits and of course bounties and prizes. Find full details of each track on the Diffusion website. Here’s an overview to get you started.

The Usable Stack: new and better ways to use Web 3

Using crypto and DApps is still far too hard. How do we not only lower the barrier of entry, but make every interaction that a user has with a cryptonetwork understandable and safe? In this track we want to see DApps on the Convergence Stack that use innovative ways to use the decentralised web securely. We encourage you to think beyond the browser — augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), voice interfaces (VUI), conversational interfaces (CUIs) and NFC tags are all ways to engage with a cryptosystem.

Focus areas: UX

A Stack for Good: your moonshot for a better world

How can you leverage the Convergence Stack to do Good, with a capital G? In this track we invite you to create your moonshot for a better world. The crazier, the better.

Focus areas: Learning, Storage, Networking, Middleware, UX

ETHBerlin and the DoD: community improvement bounties

We are very happy to welcome ETHBerlin and the Department of Decentralization to Diffusion 2019! There will be Department of Decentralization Community Improvement Bounties focusing on all areas in the Convergence Stack, with a soft focus on Ethereum:

  • Middleware Community Improvement Bounty: during ETHBerlinZwei, DeFi reigned supreme. There were incredible projects such as the mixer of mixers S.U.D.Z, Cherry Swap: swapping interest rates using the Compound Protocol, or Ratelock: fixed interest rates for lending/borrowing.
  • UX Community Improvement Bounty: We are looking for a project that truly moves the needle when it comes to overall User Experience and usability for the ecosystem.
  • Networking Community Improvement Bounty: the work on Libp2p continues with a dedicated bounty.

Web 2.5: onboarding the rest of the world to decentralised technology

Diffusion is all about Web 3.0 — decentralised, open, user-owned. You are the pioneers. Now how do we onboard the 99% of developers and organisations who are not into Web 3 yet? This track is focused on bridging the world of Web 2 and Web 3. Can you build a DApp that leverages one or more centralised services, while maintaining its openness and decentralised nature?

Focus areas: Learning, Storage, Networking, Middleware, UX

The Odyssey Serendipity Network: growing a network of ecosystems

Since 2017, Odyssey has grown into the largest AI and blockchain hackathon in the world. Anyone who has ever been at Odyssey experiences a network and serendipity effect that is unlike any other hackathon. To get a feel for that serendipity, just have a look at the Odyssey 2019 after movie. With the Serendipity Network, Odyssey wants to digitise and distribute the serendipity effect of the Odyssey Hackathon experience for everyone in the world and create a network of ecosystems committed to helping each other. Where each actor and ecosystem is connected, not based on who knows whom but on who is working on what and in which context.

Focus areas: UX, Storage, Middleware

Machine Learning in the Decentralised World: opening the AI silos

When data has become a digital asset, how can you leverage it in your DApp? What can you achieve with machine learning with the ever growing open datasets that decentralised systems themselves produce? Submissions in this track must include a machine learning component, with a preference for privacy-preserving forms of machine learning.

Focus areas: Learning, Storage

Shaking Up the Model: data and compute in different places

Peer to peer protocols, agent-based architectures and distributed ledgers have opened the door to new ways of building ecosystems unified by software, beyond the ubiquitous client-server model. But how do we ensure data reliability and long-term durability when users own their data, while keeping data private? How do we enable access control in decentralised systems? In this track we want to see DApps built on the Convergence Stack that use an innovative model of storing and processing data to address these questions.

Focus areas: Storage, UX, Middleware, Learning

Token Engineering: (re-)invent economic mechanisms by using simulations

Cryptoeconomic systems allow us to establish new rules and economic incentives for blockchain ecosystems. To develop such systems we can apply tools and methods from complex systems engineering. One core element are simulations that allow us to verify a specific system design before launching it to the real world. Over the last months, BlockScience developed a token modeling framework, called cadCAD, which has now been open sourced for everyone to start simulating token economies. The TokenEngineering track seeks developers to use cadCAD to validate and improve a given cryptoeconomic building block, or create one.

Sharing in Consortia Networks: permissioned, tokenized data sharing with T-Labs

As we push towards ecosystem infrastructures (Ecostructures) by using blockchain, members of consortia cryptonetworks will require enterprise grade access control and storage, as well as a way to monetize data by using tokens. In this track we would like to see developers develop a role-based data sharing solution, and build a data marketplace to monetize data.

We would like developers to experiment with identification processes for users and data, attribute-based access control, scalability solutions, smart contracts and tokenized data sharing. Developers in this track will get access to Stax, the multi-blockchain orchestration suite developed by T-Labs which can be used to spin up infrastructure for Ethereum and other technologies.

Focus Areas: Security, UX, Storage

Hyperledger and the Convergence Stack: self-sovereign identity and beyond

The Hyperledger project governs a rich set of open source technologies for the decentralised web. In this track we invite developers to build innovative solutions using self-sovereign identity and verifiable credentials with Hyperledger Indy, Aries and Ursa, or build with other Hyperledger technologies and combine them with components of the Convergence Stack. Some themes to start with:

  • Travel credentials and crossing borders
  • Customer relationships in online commerce and offline (retail) commerce, and where they come together
  • Internet of Trusted Things: credentials for devices

Developers participating in this track will get access to Evernym Verity nodes, which offer a powerful interface to the capabilities of Sovrin and other Hyperledger Indy networks, including credential issuance and verification.

Focus areas: Storage, Middleware, UX

SIGN UP NOW (limited places apply)

Great, now how do I choose?

With so many tracks, we understand that there is a lot to choose from. So what would be a good track to join?

I’m a developer with lots of experience in blockchain, smart contracts and Web 3.0

Great, your skills will be in high demand! If you have most experience with Ethereum or Hyperledger, the most straightforward tracks to join would be ETHBerlin and DoD and Hyperledger and the Convergence Stack. But with over 20 technologies and core development teams attending, I bet there are some you haven’t ever worked with. Diffusion is a great opportunity to try out something new.

I’m a developer with experience in web technologies, but blockchain and Web 3.0 are pretty new to me

Welcome to the dark side, you’re up for an interesting ride! We have just the track for you: Web 2.5 is meant exactly for people with your experience to dip their toes in decentralised technologies. Further, Sharing in Consortia Networks could be a good fit if you’re familiar with enterprise technology environments. Finally, you could find some teammates who are more experienced with Web 3.0, so you can learn from them and they from you, and join any of the other tracks.

I’m a data scientist, and I might or might not have any experience with Web 3.0

You know data science? We’ve got data! Diffusion is all about building open data economy. The most straightforward track to join would be Machine Learning in the Decentralised World where teams look at machine learning in the context of decentralised systems, and privacy-preserving forms of machine learning. Another good choice would be Sharing in Consortia Networks where data sharing between companies in a consortia environment has the focus.

I’m a UX designer or graphical designer

Web 3 needs you! If there’s one skillset to make decentralised technology and crypto available to more people, it’s yours. UX is consistently mentioned as the area where crypto and DApps need to improve. So teams in all tracks need your expertise. That said, if you want to dive deeper into UX for Web 3, The Usable Stack and ETHBerlin and the DoD are great choices. Finally, The Odyssey Serendipity Network could really use innovative UX for finding people to collaborate with and exchanging knowledge.

I’m an economist, financial expert or a token engineer

An economist? At a hackathon? Yes, of course! If you want to go deep on designing and simulating mechanisms, join the Token Engineering track. But we expect all tracks to have some economic components, notably Sharing in Consortia Networks for monetizing data through tokenization, and ETHBerlin and the DoD with its bounty for most innovative DeFi (decentralised finance) app.

Bring your own code and hack with the Stack

Hackathons are for building new things. Right? Right, you should build new, open source code at Diffusion, and the new code you write is what the judges will evaluate. But that doesn’t mean you have to start at zero. We explicitly invite you to bring your own product and connect it with the Convergence Stack. We already have multiple startups and development companies registered who will bring their own open source or proprietary code and hack with it at Diffusion, as well as enterprise developers who start out from their enterprise stack. Show off your product to Diffusion and make it better while you’re at it.

And while Diffusion is all about open source, we understand that not every product is open source (yet!), so it’s entirely fine to bring a proprietary product and build, say, an open source integration with its API to one or more Convergence Stack technologies. Just remember that the work you submit as your hackathon result must be fully open source.


So you registered, found a team and have chosen your track? Then get a headstart at Diffusion by getting up to speed with the technologies. We have a launchpad with quick-start instructions and essential links for all technologies at Diffusion, with new ones added daily. Keep an eye on the agenda as well as your inbox, as we announce the workshops and talks where you can learn directly from the core technology teams.

Any questions? See you in Berlin 🇩🇪!



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Aron van Ammers

Building and growing token ecosystems as CTO and Founding Partner @OVioHQ | #bitcoin #blockchain #decentralisation | Tech geek | Triathlete | Take a deep breath