Hackathon Recap: Projects, Winners, Tech Talks And More
The current web is in crisis — censorship, data leaks, power being in the hands of a few selected companies. That’s too far from the early ideas of the web — free access to any information for everyone, no authorities or control of any kind. The Web 3 movement has revitalized the dream of the internet as an independent domain with the idea of open protocols.
There’s an opinion that is quite popular in the decentralized community: “the significant part of the Web3 tech stack is far from maturity”. Despite that, it is already possible to build production-grade applications, and the goal of the hackathon was to prove it.
Out of the 67 participants, 12 teams emerged, with three clear leaders, although it was hard to make the final decision, given the overall high quality of the projects.
Lazy Snark — trustless off-chain zero-knowledge proof verification by the SmartDec team.
Zk-proofs are a secure way to prove the correctness of the computations in a trustless environment. The problem is the high zk-proof verification cost on the Ethereum blockchain (we’ve touched that in “Securing Decentralized Databases”) — that’s what the LazySnark is about to fix. The team suggested using Fluence as a trustless environment for the off-chain proof verification which scales far beyond the Ethereum gas limits.
Try it out with the demo app!
VoteEx — website reputation and review service by the EasyChain team.
How often have you discovered that your negative review had been deleted? No more! VoteEx is a website reputation browser extension which stores all the reviews in the Arweave permanent storage, making it impossible to tamper or remove any submitted content. Fluence serves as a trustless backend for the service — runs unbiased rating aggregation, simultaneously searches through a database of websites and reviews. No power can delete negative reviews or tamper a website score without being noticed — welcome to the transparent, decentralized future.
SIRES — 2D MMO shooter with tokenized items.
The team had gotten close to the solution of problems most modern games are struggling with. Game code belongs to the vendor, or the platform, just as the items do, so it could be changed against the will of players by the publisher, a game admin, or some hacker. Same with the items: they could be deleted, lost, or forged. Blockchains solve this problem for some assets, but the game items are a combination of a static image (icon, picture or 3D model) and a complex game mechanic that describes the item’s behavior inside the game. Items are usually valued for the latter: the more powerful they are, the more players would like to own them. Who would want an epic sword that’s just an image turned into a piece of hash?
The Fluence/Arweave setup can provide another level of ownership and confidence for the players: the game logic that sits in a trustless execution environment can be verified by any player, in-game items (such as weapons, armor, etc.) that are permanently stored on Arweave can’t be silently removed or altered. Not only that, the game itself scales seamlessly — it works in real-time and is ready for multiple players.
The awesome part? You can play the demo!
All the winners got rewarded from the prize pool of $4000.
Three more projects earned an “Honorable Mention” and a 1500 reward in Arweave tokens:
Qualifile — an educational platform that provides students with the opportunity to learn any skill or specialization. The decentralized trustless environment could help to avoid cheating during the tests while having your scores and earned certificates stored permanently. It becomes easy to prove the authenticity of the certificate and the grades you have, excluding forgery.
SafeAgreements — a pretty straightforward tool that allows you to create various agreements, send them to another party to sign, and keep your agreement safe in decentralized storage forever.
Approved.zone — Sending the ERC20 to the smart contract is complicated: you have to allow the contract X to withdraw a number of tokens Y from your balance. Usually, the number Y is set to infinite for convenience of not bothering in the future. Such allowances could be then easily forgotten or exploited by a malicious party. Approved.zone is a dashboard that helps you track, manage, and even cancel your token allowances.
Getting the prize is great, but the hackathon should always be something more than just a contest. We’ve spent two days (and night) with awesome people, answered a ton of questions about the decentralized tech and discussed the Web3 ideas and values.
The hackathon included a “free tech talk track” where anyone could take the stage and share their knowledge. It turned out to be a great idea as we got several expert-level talks:
- “WTF is Blockchain?” Anton Bukov, Blockchain developer, CryptoManiacs community.
- “You Do Not Need Blockchain: 8 Use Cases That Do Not Work” Ivan Ivanitskiy, CAO at SmartDec.
- “Zero-Knowledge — Application Area & Developer Tools” Petr Korolev, Co-founder at Matter Labs, cryptographer, blockchain developer.
- “Fast, deterministic and verifiable computations with WebAssembly” Mike Voronov, Research engineer at Fluence Labs. This talk was in Russian, for the English version see Mike’s speech at the WASM workshop in Berlin.
We’re tremendously grateful to all the speakers for taking this event to the next level. All the talks and workshops are available on the Fluence Youtube channel.
The cool and unexpected thing was that the hackathon attracted some of a younger audience. One of our guests, Bogdan, a 14-year-old who has already learned to code, participates in hackathons, and is searching for an internship at a tech company, has shared his impression:
“The hackathon was well organized — great mentors, cool merch, and delicious food. I was glad to have an opportunity to practice my English speaking skills. The Cons? It was too short, I’d prefer to start digging in into the Fluence and Arweave tech on Friday 🙂”
We were proud to host an event that attracted so many different talented people!
More about Fluence and Arweave
Want to learn more about the technologies used at the hackathon? Here is where to start:
We want to express our gratitude to all the judges and mentors: Petr Korolev, Stepan Gershuni, Andrey Lelikov, Valery Litvin, Christopher Heymann.
Special thanks to Nadia Venzhina for invaluable help with organizing and promoting the event. Shoutout to all of the volunteers who had helped us during these two days.
Thank you to the IMAGURU hub — the venue was comfortable and big enough to accommodate everyone, with all the required equipment for the tech talks, pitches, and presentations.
Thanks to the cyberAcademy for the help with promoting the hackathon to the local community and providing technical support, stage management, live stream & recordings at the event.
Huge thanks and hugs to the awesome Arweave team. You made this possible and gave this hackathon a much broader scope of things to learn and create.
Of course, our thanks to all the guests and participants at the hackathon — we did it for you, thank you for appreciating this and for being the most engaged, kind and curious audience.