ETHDenver Hackathon Finalists Take Aim at Adoption Barriers

Privacy, real-world interactions and DAO infrastructure highlighted ETHDenver’s hackathon finalists.

AccessTimeIconFeb 21, 2022 at 3:17 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:47 p.m. UTC

At the closing ceremony for the ETHDenver conference on Sunday, 30 hackathon finalists pitched their projects to a crowd of hundreds at the Sports Castle venue – a range of submissions primarily focused on solving common pain points across the Ethereum ecosystem.

While the teams were competing for up to $5,000 for top prizes in various categories, even runners-up will likely receive significant attention from venture capital and angel investors – a popular trend from an investment space flushed with cash and hungry for “alpha.”

In the decentralized finance (DeFi) category, submissions such as Dust Sweeper, which collects and swaps small amounts of tokens or “dust” that would be costly to consolidate into other currencies; and SlowSwap, an automated market maker (AMM) that prevents maximal extractable value (MEV) with delayed swaps, focused on addressing common user gripes. Additionally, Mimicry Protocol and focused on lending and derivatives for non-fungible tokens (NFT), respectively.

Likewise, DAO-focused submissions centered on addressing popular pain points for the emergent organizations. Background Network pitched a decentralized autonomous organization that would outsource help desk and community management duties, while AcademyONE centered on providing rewards for creating and consuming educational content.

A pair of surprisingly visually appealing games stood out in the Metaverse and Gaming category: INDAO, a yield-producing Sci-Fi title, and MoonScape, a fantasy role-playing game utilizing NFTs for in-game items.

Perhaps the most exciting submissions, however, focused on privacy with the deployment of zero-knowledge proofs, as well as greater real-world integration.

ZKmaps would use zk-proofs to enable users to prove they were present at a specific geographic location at a specific time without revealing their exact location. ZkProof of Buffiness, meanwhile, proves that a user holds a NFT from a particular collection, without revealing which specific NFT is held.

IdentDeFi pitched privacy-preserving know-your-customer (KYC) architecture, while ExchangeIt! pitched a real-world goods swap platform that would use smart contract escrowing and DAO-mediated conflict resolution.

The full list of hackathon category winners will be posted in the coming days.


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Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

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