ETHCapeTown Roundup: The BUIDL Spirit

A summary of the productive, creative and remarkable efforts at Africa’s first ETHGlobal hackathon.

ETHCapeTown
Apr 29, 2019 · 7 min read
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ETHCapeTown has officially come to an end and we are catching all the feels.

We are beyond proud to say that Africa’s FIRST official ETHGlobal hackathon has resulted in some of the most promising projects, new friendships, a fresh perspective on new and emerging tech, and of course, a bag full of swag.

We were blown away with the level of creativity and the amount of work that everyone put in to build some awesome applications. A big shoutout to our sponsors, speakers, mentors, judges, organisers and volunteers for bringing together the most exciting ETH hackathon to come to the African continent.

If you weren’t able to make it down to Cape Town, here’s a brief roundup of what went down.

The TL;DR you need to know about

Altogether, we had 190 Attendees, 8+ Sponsors, 6 Judges and 33 project submissions.

The swag

Instead of us telling you how much we loved the swag, we’d prefer to show you. We had all the things (stickers, t-shirts, moon bags and more).

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ETHCapeTown swag — Wayne van Niekerk on the lens

The opening ceremony

Vitalik Buterin and Kartik Talwar discussed all things Ethereum, blockchain use cases in Africa, and scalability at the ETHCapeTown opening ceremony. Watch it here.

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Kartik Talwar(ETHGlobal) and Keynote, Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum)

The hacking

With our hackers working tirelessly through the night, sleep was optional.

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The musical extravaganza

We were treated to a piece of musical genius on Saturday night. Feast on this.

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The food

From Friday braai day to 4 local food trucks, to bottomless coffee and an edible South African flag made from miniature cupcakes, everything was wildly delicious.

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Local is “lekker”

The venue

The Lookout. Enough said.

The meditation

Gerlinde Vassen, from the Art of Living, taught us a thing or two about mindful meditation.

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Finding a sense of self and our daily “OM”

The pitch

The anticipation, the nerves, the delivery. Every single one of our hacker teams did an amazing job at presenting their projects on the main stage.

The closing ceremony

Our top four teams presented their winning projects and were awarded prizes by sponsors. Watch it here.

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Wrapping up Day 3 of ETHCapeTown

The who’s who of ETHCapeTown

ETHCapeTown brought together some of the most prominent players in the Ethereum space to guide and mentor hackathon participants.

Who attended?

Organisers

Speakers and judges

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The judges …silently …. judging

The believers: our sponsors

Shoutout to our incredible partners and sponsors that breathed life into ETHCapeTown and made it all possible.

  1. NuCypher
  2. MakerDAO
  3. Raiden Network
  4. Investec
  5. ENS
  6. Torus
  7. IKU
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Special mentions

When moon? The winners

If you’d like to have a sneak peek at all ETHCapeTown project submissions, you can check them out here.

The winning teams in no particular order:

  • Wildcards
  • dTok
  • Snap
  • Sebenzai
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Wildcards (Image 1) and dTok (Image 2)
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Snap (Image 1) and Sebenzai (Image 2)
  • Wildcards: Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on Ethereum. Each token is linked to a living animal considered to be an endangered species. Like CryptoKitties but the tokens represent individual endangered animals.

What does it do: Wildcards is about raising funds for some of the world’s most endangered species. The African black rhino serves as a great place to start. Each African black rhino is an NFT that is always on sale via a Harberger Taxed property rights system. This ensures a continued divided stream going toward the African black rhino conservation fund. In future, Wildcards plan to add other critically endangered species to help raise further funding for these animals.

How it was built: Wildcards forked Simon’s package, adjusted the smart contract to their needs, and added a frontend, using a Truffle React box along with Ganache for development and testing.

  • dTok: Pay-as-you-go live streaming via Raiden enabled Burner Wallet

What does it do: In dTok, the team combined the friction-less UX of Burner Wallet and with the lightning-fast speed of the Raiden Network to power a unique pay-as-you-go model where streamers profit from their content.

How it was built: Burner Wallet + Raiden + Livepeer + Dai (MakerDAO)

  • Snap: Snap lets you create totally decentralised and automatically rebalancing smart contract portfolios.

What does it do: Rebalancing your portfolio can be a difficult task, especially in a decentralised context, but Snap makes your life a little easier by allowing you to create rebalancing contracts (Snapfunds). Just choose your assets and split, set a time period and top it up with funds and you’re on your way to a balanced crypto fund.

How it was built: Solidity and Vyper for the contract element, and vue for the front end.

  • Sebenzai: Sebenz.ai creates jobs in Africa through gamified smartphone data labelling for machine learning. Storing worker skill on a token and use it to compute skill-weighted consensus to get accurate labels.

What does it do: With a current unemployment rate of 28%, Sebenzai’s mission is to create 1 million jobs in Africa. With Sebenzai, you can “digitally shred” audio files into several 5-second pieces and play them for separate people so that no one person ever hears more than a 5-second slice of audio without any context. Each worker does a test on signup to calculate their “skill”. As we cannot trust any single worker to be correct, we play each slice to several workers and use their skill to calculate a “skill-weighted-consensus” in their transcription to get an accurate result, which is stored on a smart contract as a sort of verified public CV (to demonstrate literacy etc.).

How it was built: Django, Python, Ruby, Solidity

Special team mentions

Lessons learned

We wanted to create a space where developers could get together and see where their ideas could take them. In doing so, we made sure that we exposed our hackers to additional learning experiences, with workshops scheduled throughout the duration of the event.

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UNICEF Innovation #Surge Workshop(Image 1) and Paul Kohlhaas on Engineering Curation Markets (Image 2)

Friday workshops

  • Introduction to Solidity and DApp Development with Richard Moore
  • Building privacy preserving DApps with NuCypher
  • Learning by example from DeFi projects using Dai
  • Get started #buidling on Raiden

Saturday workshops

  • Working with Ethereum Grid Tools
  • Musical speculation about the future of crypto metaphors
  • Setting the premise for financial inclusion with MakerDAO
  • Stopping Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases with IKU’s Neuro DAO
  • Engineering Curation Markets: Dive into Bonding Curves, Market Makers and Curated Registries with Paul Kohlhaas
  • 1–800-Ethereum: decentralized meta-transactions with Yoav Weiss
  • Drive adoption by allowing execution of transactions via credit card with George Spasov

What’s next?

They came, they saw, they hacked. We can’t thank each and every person enough, who contributed to the success of the hackathon, to help bring this epic event to the Mother City.

Local South African developers were able to see some of the latest tools being built by the global Ethereum community. Some of the applications that came out of two short days were all about solving real-world problems, many of which were unique to the African continent. With that in mind, we honestly couldn’t have been happier with the projects that were built and the ideas that were presented. ETHCapeTown was the real deal.

We’re excited to say that we’ll see you all next year!

ETHCapeTown reflections

We’d love to know more about your experience at ETHCapeTown.

Let us know in the comments.

Author - Megan Doyle

ETHCapeTown

19–21 April 2019. Africa’s FIRST ETHGlobal hackathon.

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