The Winning Projects of the Beyond Blockchain Hackathon 2023
Oct 04, 2023
by Ed Marquez
Developer Relations

The Beyond Blockchain Hackathon 2023 provided an opportunity for developers to delve into blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) while building projects that address real-world problems in new and more efficient ways than before – all with the possibility of winning financial incentives based on the merits of those solutions built. The Hackathon was a collaboration between Swirlds Labs and The HBAR Foundation (THF), alongside Tribe’s AngelHack program for event organization and execution.

Here we announce and celebrate the winners of the Hackathon. You can also hear about the event and the winning projects in the following X Spaces session:

The Hackathon Journey

Learn & Earn (April 7-25)

In the first stage of the event, developers learned how to build on Hedera and to obtain a small amount of HBAR to incentivize their learning while they embarked on the educational journey. This part consisted of a fun curriculum that included quests and challenges to encourage the learners.

Build & Hack (May 26 to June 25)

The second stage of the Hackathon focused on building and developing solutions. Participants put into practice what they knew and what they learned about Hedera and software development practices. This stage also consisted of more learning and engagement opportunities like workshops, presentations, and mentoring sessions.

Incubator (September 5 to November 24)

The third and final stage of the Hackathon is the incubator phase, select developers from the Hackathon (and others) are invited to participate in a three-month program to nurture and commercialize their projects.

Results and Winners

The event reached and engaged thousands of developers. Dozens of high-quality submissions were received and reviewed by judges. Participants could win placed prizes (1st to 5th place) and tracked prizes (Sustainability, Tokenizing the Future, and DeFi).

These are the winning projects and some insights they shared:

Placed Prizes

1. HedStone (Award: $20,000 USD)

Team members: Sara Grayson, Jerry Grayson, Jeremy Gagné-Lafleur, India Beresford, and Jake Hall

What did you build and why is it important?

We created 3D models of grave headstones using the photogrammetry techniques my team and I first used back in 2018 on large-scale projects such as islands, historic buildings, and for the real estate industries. Using this technique for headstones means that collectors and researchers of family trees worldwide will be able to interact and create family trees in the metaverse and with their families who may be located around the world.

— Sara Grayson

What did you like about the Hackathon experience?

I loved being able to bring together a young team who became very tightly-knit over the course of the Hackathon despite working over three continents and time zones. It reminded me of the team-building and project-management techniques Sara and I had previously used in international sporting events such as the Olympics, Soccer World Cup, Formula One motor racing, and Commonwealth Games.

— Jerry Grayson

2. ESG - Responsive Legal Agreements (Award: $15,000 USD)

Team members: Niall Roche, Gracie Page-Fozzati, Dr. Alastair Moore, and Daniel Fozzati

What did you build and why is it important?

We built a link between Hedera and an open-source project that we are working with to try to bring more opportunities to make legal agreements ESG-aware and responsive to actual results vs. commitments, and to take action where there is a disparity between the two.

— Niall Roche

What did you like about the Hackathon experience?

It was a fun way to focus us on an idea we have been thinking about for a while.

— Niall Roche

3. (Award: $10,000 USD)

Team members: Milan Wiercx van Rhijn

What did you build and why is it important? addresses the need for immutable proof of attendance tied to physical locations. Existing solutions using QR codes and standard NFCs have a flaw – they can be easily copied and shared with people who hadn't actually attended the event. To overcome this, I researched and found a relatively new type of NFC tag (424 DNA) that generates a unique string upon each tap. This uniqueness makes it impossible to copy and ensures perfect proof of attendance. When a GeoTap is tapped, the unique string is verified and, if authentic, it registers the user's presence through the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS). Additionally, it sends an NFT of that location to the user's account. The combination of secure DNA tags, immutable logging on HCS, and gamification through collecting location-based NFTs creates a plethora of real-world applications. These include verifiable treasure hunts, educational GeoTap trails, conference proof of attendance, and more. The scalability, predictive fees, and speed offered by Hedera made it possible to bring this concept to life.

— Milan Wiercx van Rhijn

What did you like about the Hackathon experience?

The Hackathon was a great experience, especially due to the organizers' emphasis on encouraging participants to think beyond just building an app. They pushed us to consider the viability of our concepts as real products. The mentor's support was invaluable in guiding us on this path. On a personal level, I enjoyed bringing to life an idea that had been lingering in my head for quite some time. The hard deadline of the Hackathon motivated me to turn the idea into reality.

— Milan Wiercx van Rhijn

4. Katomic (Award: $3,000 USD)

Team member: Alex Taylor

What did you build and why is it important?

Kato created #katomic, a natural language allowing anyone to design, build, and execute their own Hedera-native atomic swaps. #katomic promotes education, innovation, and collaboration – essential ingredients for a successful ecosystem.

— Alex Taylor

What did you like about the Hackathon experience?

The Hackathon was like a mini turbo-charged incubator, a great way to focus on one idea with a support framework to drive it forward.

— Alex Taylor

5. Biota (Award: $2,000 USD)

Team member: Tom Ploem

Project Summary

The index for nature – Biota is an innovative decentralized platform that serves as a public forum for local communities to engage with and make decisions about the preservation and usage of natural lands and environments around them. This platform enables locals to take an active role in shaping their community, and, in turn, contribute to wider global efforts for environmental sustainability.

Best in Track

Sustainability: PowerAmp ($10,000 USD)

Team member: Tom Ploem

Project Summary

PowerAmp is a revolutionary, decentralized demand management platform built on Hedera.

Tokenizing the Future: HedStone ($10,000 USD)

DeFi: BlockTradeLabs ($10,000 USD)

Team members: Daryl Lim, Kang, and Sheng Zhe

What did you build and why is it important?

Our platform combines decentralized funding, comprehensive education, and transparent performance tracking. Unlike others, we're offering a holistic approach that empowers traders at all levels.

What sets us apart is our innovative integration protocol that seamlessly connects with a wide range of decentralized exchanges through available APIs. This protocol bridges the gap between traders and exchanges, providing a unified platform for funding, education, and performance tracking.

Why is this integration crucial? Transparency is at the heart of successful trading. With BlockTradeLabs, traders gain access to transparent performance tracking, comprehensive educational resources, and risk management tools. This empowers them to make informed decisions, manage risks effectively, and attract potential investors.

— Daryl Lim

What did you like about the Hackathon experience?

Hedera's EVM compatibility stood out to us as a significant benefit. The fact that we could leverage our existing knowledge and skills in Solidity greatly streamlined our development process. We didn't have to learn a new programming language or environment, and we were able to use established tools, libraries, and frameworks that were designed for EVM.

We were also impressed with Hedera's precompiles. These ready-to-use smart contract components helped us build our application faster and more efficiently. They saved us from having to write and test complex functions from scratch, enabling us to focus on our unique business logic instead.

The split of smart contracts, consensus, and token into distinct services also resonated with us. This design approach allowed us to customize each component based on our specific requirements, providing us with an unprecedented level of control and flexibility. We could optimize each part of our system for our needs, resulting in a more robust, efficient, and tailor-made solution.

— Daryl Lim

Conclusion: Develop the Future with Web3 and Hedera

The Beyond Blockchain Hackathon 2023 showed the potential of DLTs and the Hedera network. From creating 3D models in the metaverse to delivering transparent legal agreements and revolutionizing attendance verification, the winning projects are great examples of the transformative power of decentralized solutions. These innovations are not just about technology, they're about reshaping our world – making it more inclusive, transparent, and efficient.

Reflecting on the success of this Hackathon, we always keep an open mind for the opportunities that lie ahead. For aspiring developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, the message is clear: Don’t be afraid to develop the future with Web3 and Hedera. Your next idea could make the world a better place.

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