Ethereal Blocks Retro: Sponsors, Winners, and More
The theme of this hackathon was composability. As projects building on a shared, distributed ledger (Ethereum), open-source companies have the ability to collaborate in a way never quite possible before. We’re happy to report that the projects built were reflective of this new paradigm and help lead us towards the goals we have for the future of the web, faster.
In anticipation of ConsenSys’ first Ethereal conference in Tel Aviv, we brought together pioneering companies create meaningful and compelling challenges to offer our hackers. These companies have selected the winning projects for their prizes, so now we get to our favorite part of the cycle: showcasing awesome projects!
By the Numbers
This hackathon would not have been a success without our passionate community of sponsors, mentors, ambassadors, and most importantly, hackers. Ethereal Blocks featured:
- 10 sponsors
- 20 challenges
- $50k+ in prizes
- 67 submissions
- 20 winners
The 14 days of work culminated at Ethereal Tel Aviv where Gitcoin’s own Vivek Singh presented some winning projects alongside attending sponsors from Matic, Bancor, and Portis.
AirSwap is a leading player in the DeFi space, creating infrastructure and tools for others to easily build on top of. Their core product is a decentralized token trading network, which thanks to a new embeddable widget called AirSwap Trader, can now be easily integrated into any web app. Hackers were challenged to use AirSwap Trader for creating and executing ERC-20 or ERC-721 trades in their submissions.
Gitcoin user Viraja1 took home the 2,000 DAI bounty for this challenge with his project called Swap Forum. Swap Forum is a “bulletin board” style trading application, allowing users to start a private or public forum to find counterparties for their desired trades. Trades can be proposed to specific users or left open to the public.
What I personally love about this project is the potential to make trades possible between notoriously illiquid tokens. Have you ever tried to trade your Spankchain tokens for Maker? No, just me? Well regardless, Swap Forum could make it easy for you to swap any obscure ERC20 for another, as long as you can find a buyer. Since AirSwap Trader is running on the backend when two users agree on a price they can initiate the decentralized trade with no counterparty risk and while keeping full custody. Congrats Viraj, we hope you continue your work!
Bancor, another Ethereum DeFi pioneer, created two challenges to build on top of its decentralized liquidity network with combined prizes of over $5,000 in ETH and DAI. Bancor uses incentivized liquidity pools (known as Bancor Relays) to facilitate non-custodial trades between more than 150 tokens, enabling seamless peer to peer trades while generating fees for liquidity providers. The first challenge was backend heavy: create tools to track and optimize Bancor Relays. The second challenge was more focused on the frontend: create an embeddable blockchain conversion widget with an improved and customizable UI.
The first challenge was won by Gitcoin’s long time hacker Tommy Cox, or proofoftom, with his project CommunitETHs. CommunitETHs (live on Kovan) is a network of self-launched communities that have their own tokens that are all swappable via the network connector token.
The easy liquidity created through community tokens holds promise for the future of open source communities building near each other. If we can find ways to incentivize communities to partner on initiatives, we could end up solving collaboration problems of the past by using Ethereum as a shared, base layer. Amazing how technology can help change incentives, and kudos to Tommy for driving this effort forward. Tom went home (metaphorically speaking) with 13.5 ETH for his work!
The second Bancor prize of 2,500 DAI was won by Nionis, or Steve. Nionis’ Bancor Conversion Widget is fast, simple, and small (only 66kb), with customizable themes.
In addition to their prize money, both winners were offered an additional payment from the Bancor team to continue working on their projects. We can’t wait to see what the final products look like!
Waves is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain platform and development toolset for Web3 applications. Waves challenged hackers to build a project with a tokenization mechanism for the sharing economy using Waves blockchain. They offered 800 Waves (~$900) to the winning submission, along with a ticket and travel to the Annual Waves Meetup in Berlin.
This prize was won by kmadorin for his workplace marketplace, a sharing economy for workspace. Imagine a peer to peer WeWork, or AirBnB for coworking spaces. Kmadorin created a market for office owners or renters to share access to their offices with freelancers or small startups when they have extra room. This is done on the Waves blockchain by creating a token for each workplace and allowing users to buy a token for one-day access which activates when they enter the office.
Matic Network provides scalable, secure, and instant Ethereum transactions using Plasma side chains and Proof-of-Stake. The Matic team provided 4 unique challenges for Ethereal Blocks, with a total of over 47 ETH up for grabs.
The first and largest challenge for 17.7 ETH was to enable dApp developers to deploy various decentralized networks onto the Matic testnet, including Kyber, Uniswap, Augur, dYdX, and bZx. Gitcoin user bakaoh took the bulk of this prize home by going above and beyond. His submission includes 5 thorough blog posts on how to deploy each network onto Matic: Kyber, Uniswap, Augur, dYdX, and bZx. We’d also like to shout out man-jain who won 20% of this prize. You can see his submission on Github here, which also includes 5 blog posts on deploying to Matic.
The second challenge was to create a remittance app for sending DAI across borders, using Matic for fast and cheap transactions and using Plasma for security. Abhimanyu121 took home over $2,000 in ETH for his submission, which is built on Ropsten and uses Moonpay for crypto to fiat conversions. Congratulations Abhimanyu, we hope you continue building out new features for this project.
SKALE is leading the industry in layer 2 scalability solutions by building a network of Ethereum compatible elastic sidechains. SKALE offered 4 challenges for Ethereal Blocks with 5 different winning projects, one of which earned a free ticket and round trip airfare to Devcon. The challenge boasting this big prize was short, sweet, and open-ended: build a killer dApp using SKALE’s decentralized stack.
Of 8 total entries, Gitcoin user Stefan Ionescu and his teammate Eswara Sai won the grand prize and will be in Japan soon thanks to their project Komodo Lending. Komodo is a platform that enables lenders to earn extra interest on their investments while allowing borrowers to pay less interest. This is done through rehypothecation: when a lender supplies a mix of USDC & WBNB (Wrapped Binance Coin) on Komodo, multiple processes are triggered:
- Smart contracts lend the USDC on Compound and return cUSDC
- The cUSDC is locked together with the WBNB in a hybrid CDP
- The CDP is used to generate a stablecoin, bUSD
- bUSD is lent again on Komodo
When someone wants to borrow on Komodo, they borrow bUSD. bUSD has a lower interest rate compared to USDC because borrowers basically get a USDC derivative. If the derivative does not have a discount on the initial asset’s interest rate, borrowers would be better off simply borrowing USDC and not bUSD. The app is live here and Stefan even provided a demo of the project you can watch here.
The next challenge was to build a dApp using SKALE’s decentralized FileStorage. This 500 DAI prize went to Hammad Tariq for his project dTunes. dTunes uses SKALE’s contracts and storage to manage music files over IPFS. Using the app users can upload, download, and delete music files, with the plan to eventually enable the purchasing of music. You can watch a video demo of dTunes here.
500 DAI also went to DJ Rosenbaum for building the best dApp using SKALE’s token bridge — an interchain messaging agent. Mr. Rosenbaum (or Mr. DJ?) created Zelda Shop, a Zelda item shop where players can buy items in-game using SKALE’s token bridge for payments. You can play around with the project on Rinkeby here.
Finally, the last challenge called “SKALE Up Your Smart Contracts” had two winners: CodeSlip and man-jain. CodeSlip and team built AnonHero, a platform to help anyone tell their story and unequivocally prove it on the blockchain while protecting their identity. It uses Torus for secure sign-in and the Skale EVM for storage, processing, and image validation. Check out the AnonHero demo here.
Man-jain created DArdt, a decentralized art platform for designers and artists to showcase their creations. It uses the ERC721 standard for creating non-fungible tokens. Any user can submit their art piece to show the world, with the option to trade it for ETH.
Congratulations to the many winners! A wide variety of interesting dApps came out of these challenges, and we can’t wait to see more developers building with SKALE’s technology.
Status is a messenger, crypto wallet, and Web3 browser built on Ethereum. Status provided 3 challenges for a total of 5,000 DAI in prizes, the first being the integration of Keycard within mobile or desktop apps. Keycard is an open framework for smartcards – cost-effective, highly secure hardware that can generate private keys and sign transactions with ease. Our friend Ligi earned 2,000 DAI with his submission sign eip191 via nfc, allowing users to pre-sign transactions using Keycard and the WallETH Android Ethereum wallet.
Finally, the last Status prize was 1,500 DAI to create a new SDK or development tool facilitating the integration of Keycard. Bakaoh claimed this bounty by building a Keycard simulator, making testing and debugging status-keycard easier without the need of a real card or card reader. He put together a great blog post illustrating why a Keycard simulator is helpful and even included a demo of it in action.
Portis is working to make blockchain more accessible and easy for anyone to use. Their challenge “Redefine Blockchain User Experience” embodied this goal by requiring that hackers integrate the Portis gas relay into their dApps to provide a frictionless experience. The multi-faceted prize for this included 1 ETH, a Devcon 5 ticket, exclusive swag, and a private dinner with the Portis CEO and CBO.
Sergej Kunz came out on top with his project gDAI, which enables gas-less DAI transfers. gDAI uses fulcrum.trade by bZx to gain compound interest on DAI (the compound interest pays for gas), KyberNetwork for DAI to ETH liquidity, Gas Station Network for sponsoring gas fees, and Portis to seamlessly tie it all together. gDai combines an impressive amount of different tools to make a creative and useful application, which is what hackathons, Ethereum, and DeFi are all about.
The final interesting note on GDai is that it was built during ETH Boston, an in person hack which ran during Ethereal Blocks by the wonderful folks at ETH Global. We’re excited we both were able to incentivize work towards gDai — it’s great to be working towards the same goals.
Congratulations to Sergej for this well-deserved prize— if you’d like to learn more or want to try it out now, check out gdai.io.
Wrapping up the wrap-up
Thanks again to all the participants who submitted a project, and congratulations to those of you who won. The Gitcoin team is very impressed with the high caliber of submissions we received, they get better every hackathon we run. It’s worth mentioning that there were a couple of challenges with no submissions. These will either roll into the next hackathon, be extended into normal bounties, or be put on hold. While this is not an ideal outcome for sponsors or hackers, use it as a reminder: you don’t always have to compete for the most popular prizes! Sometimes, taking the road less traveled will lead you to more fruitful results and more attainable prizes.
While Ethereal Blocks is over, we have already launched our next virtual hackathon, “The Road to Devcon.” You can see the prizes, details, and sign up info here. Join us and help grow open-source together!