Ethereum developers are all about NFTs now, at least if the latest ETHNewYork is a good indication.
Ethereum developer platform ETHGlobal hosted its first Ethereum hackathon in New York City since May 2019, this past weekend. The focus leaned heavily on non-fungible tokens, as opposed to decentralized finance in the previous event.
Some of Ethereum’s most successful dapps and projects – 1inch, Instadapp, CryptoKitties– have come from hackathons like the ones organized by ETHGlobal. These events have become good breeding grounds for builders and investors.
More than 1,500 hackers participated in the contest to build the best Ethereum-based dapp over the weekend at the Altman Building in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Over $500,000 in prizes were awarded to ten winning teams.
The top five finalists for ETHNewYork were all NFT-focused projects. The ETHGlobal event followed a week-long NFT extravaganza with NFT NYC, which drew over 15,000 attendees.
“It was a lot of soulbound NFTs and edge cases for improving UX, particularly [around] security,” hackathon participant Kiernan Geoghegan told The Defiant, referring to non-transferrable NFTs, recently denominated as “soulbound tokens” or SBTs, by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and other authors in a paper. Despite the lack of DeFi projects, ETHNewYork judge Simon Emanuel told The Defiant it was a “high [level] builders market.”
This year’s prize pool is about five times larger than ETHNewYork’s 2019 pool of $109,400. The 1,500 participants was triple the 500 hackers three years ago. Of the top five winners then, two were DeFi-focused.
The winner of the hackathon was the team behind Guidl Protocol, a guild management platform for sharing player accounts and assets across the blockchain gaming ecosystem. The platform uses soulbound tokens (SBTs) to represent trust and reputation in guilds.
The team behind Guidl – Tony Dattolo, Nicholas Pasquier, Tanzeela Khan, and Joseph Bosselut – won 4 ETH from ETHGlobal and $8,250 from a mix of sponsors including Cronos Chain, Gnosis, and Worldcoin. Bosselut told The Defiant the team is “thinking of continuing the project” and is currently gauging interest from blockchain gaming investors.
The second place contestants were the creators of Burn My Wallet, a product that reports hacked wallets as burnt by minting a soulbound token. The team calls it a “killswitch” for a stolen wallet with the SBT marking the wallet as hacked so the hacker cannot remove it.
The third place project was Tsukiji, an NFT marketplace that allows users to create orders and asks and then be rewarded for matching the orders. The project was built on Seaport Protocol, a protocol hosted on OpenSea.
Other notable projects included a wallet-to-wallet messaging protocol called Pearl, an on-chain platform built for indie musicians called Reverb, and a user analytics platform for decentralized apps called MeshLink.