An incredible amount of sweat and tears (no blood, thankfully) has been shed, as highly motivated teams made up of talented people came together at the in Bratislava for the Blockchain Pioneers Hackathon 2018 – the first blockchain hackathon organized on a global scale by DECENT in collaboration with our partner 0100 Campus.
Teams competed for the chance to win an amazing prize of 20,000 DCT! They were also promised a co-working space, mentoring sessions by seasoned experts and professionals, a cooperation opportunity with DECENT, and the winners would advance to the worldwide grand finale to show us all who is the best of the best and for a chance at even more funding.
Hackathons are mad dashes and this was no exception, lasting just two days. In less than 30 hours, the teams were tasked with building a blockchain project using DCore, that would openly follow one of the two topics: Enterprise or Transformation. We gave the contestants the opportunity to let their creativity flow freely and with the help of the DECENT mentors, they were given the freedom to design their own innovative blockchain projects. And, oh boy, did they deliver!
Our team not only showed up in full force, we wanted the entire community to feel as if they were given the opportunity to be there as well, so collectively we provided a flow of photos and live-streaming of the event. High ambition and competitive spirit was in the air, as the teams made their best efforts to come up with the ultimate winning project.
The hackathon opened with a welcome speech by Dušan Duffek, Co-founder of 0100 Campus, and our Head of Innovations at DECENT, Michal Géci. Together they provided the attendees with an introduction to the world of blockchain, the hackathon process and an overall glance at the focuses and challenges involved.
After receiving all the instructions, developer teams pitched their projects and explained who they still needed to add to their squad in order to complete their vision. Then the remaining tech-savvy attendees were free to choose which project peaked their interest the most, in the end 5 teams were formed to compete in the hackathon.
Teams were made up of members coming from countries like Serbia, Ukraine and even the UK. Some of the participants knew each other prior to coming to the event, while others had less than 30 hours to get to know each other and come up with something magnificent or dare we say, “blocknificent”.
Our Head of Research, Ronald Filo, then introduced the backbone of the whole event – our blockchain platform, DCore. Ronald was joined by Peter Študent, DECENT’s Head of Software Development. Together, Block by Block, they explained the basics related to the SDK and infrastructure of the platform.
With the basics out of the way, things got really fun. Teams started coding intensely, and spirits were undoubtedly lifted high. We watched as the competing teams enjoyed themselves with some good food, drinks, hacking, and new friends. After two hours of hard work, Michal Vanovčan from the Slovenská sporiteľňa commercial bank came to discuss the connection of blockchain and traditional banks.
The second Friday workshop by Matej Nemček, named “How to CRYPTO”, showed “Scuttlebutt”, a new decentralized secure gossip platform – basically an alternative to Facebook. Then onto a refreshing dinner and the teams were back at their keyboards, cracked their knuckles and back to work. Not even the midnight snack would interrupt their concentration as the teams went on hacking. The determination of this bunch was quite remarkable as they fought through their lack of sleep and continued to hack their way through the night to win the top spot. Others – well, let’s just say our DECENT bean bag chairs served their purpose. After a hearty breakfast, Vladimir Liulka, Co-founder of Intellica Group, came to debate whether ICOs can be a good option for startup companies. During the second Saturday workshop, Martin Hauge, Owner and CEO at Haflo, gave the attendees some advice on how to pitch projects like a real pro.
Fueled by a delicate lunch, teams continued to hack until 5 PM. They then were left with an hour to finalize their pitches before presenting them to the judges. DECENT judges, Michal Géci, Peter Študent, Martin Králik and Tomáš Varga then had to decide, through 5 short presentations (each followed by a short Q&A) which project would take home the prize.
The teams came up with brilliant ideas: a food industry-related blockchain application which would track ingredient origins that could then be checked by a simple use of a QR code by end-users, a blockchain platform for verifying content creators and therefore preventing the spread of fake content, an academic blockchain platform which would verify the authenticity of certificates, and even a car marketplace, operating solely on the blockchain.
However, the one project that really jumped off the page for us, and was deemed the winner of the first Blockchain Pioneers Hackathon 2018, was the Werbifi Marketing Platform – a blockchain platform that could be used for marketing purposes, aimed at selling advertisements on public Wi-Fi landing pages (a.k.a. captive portals), built exclusively on our DCore platform.
Three pioneers, coming all the way from Serbia, joined their forces with another pioneer from Slovakia (whom they, by the way, met for the first time) and came out with this incredible project. With a happy smile on his face, the maker of the project idea, Mihajlo Nikodijevic, said: “We are thrilled to be the winners of the first hackathon organized by DECENT. Blockchain technology makes perfect sense for our project and, although we had no experience with DCore prior to this event, we found it very user-friendly and are definitely planning to use it in the future.” Now, that is something we’ll be delighted to see!
Huge congratulations from all of us at DECENT! Good luck in the final round!
We can’t thank all the other participating teams enough, as well as our partners and other supporters who have made this event possible. The next adventure continues in Berlin and Shanghai and we are thrilled to see what the next teams will come up with. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next scheduled Blockchain Pioneers Hackathon!