Do you have an innovative idea for a blockchain DApp you’d like to develop this year? If so, build it on the ICON 2.0 blockchain for a chance to win USD 10 thousand by joining the Devera Blockathon — Expansion ICON 2.0 hackathon contest!

Starting on December 1st, 2021 and concluding on New Year’s Eve, this international blockchain hackathon is aimed at kickstarting disruptive solutions that expand the ICON 2.0 ecosystem. All existing ICON community members are of course welcome to participate, but so are all developers around the world interested in trying out ICON 2.0 to see what it has to offer.

ICON 2.0 is awesome for DApps

There are a number of reasons why ICON is an optimal blockchain for building a DApp. Among the top ones: ICON’s super fast, having beat out Ethereum in a 2019 transaction challenge. (Version 2.0 is even faster now!) It’s also extremely cost-efficient, with fee-sharing built in so users don’t get bogged down with transaction fees. And most importantly, true blockchain interoperability is just around the corner, meaning your DApp will have amazing scalability.

Expanded to a global audience

The hackathon is hosted by Devera, an IT academy and career training center at Vietnam National University. Since May 2021, they’ve been running a full-credit university course teaching how to program on the ICON blockchain. Their course is funded by ICON’s Contribution Proposal System (CPS), as is this hackathon.

“We originally intended to run the hackathon for our VNU students only. However, with the hype surrounding the recent ICON 2.0 launch, ICON Foundation suggested that it could be the perfect time for a public, international hackathon,” said Devera Marketing and Communications Executive Nhu Nguyen. “So, we launched a new proposal for more funding and opened the event to the global community.”

The big hope here is to not only generate new applications for ICON, but also to attract new developers to the ICON ecosystem.

“ICON’s an amazing blockchain to develop on, which is why we are proud to support it with our university course and hackathon. We’re doing our best to directly onboard new devs to ICON — we strongly believe that the more bright, fresh young minds you have developing in a particular space, the higher its chances for success,” Nguyen said.

Prizes and Categories

There will be a number of categories to submit projects to, with individual prizes for each and six larger prizes for the best DApps overall. With 16 prizes allocated from a total ICX prize pool valued at over USD 34 thousand, the chances of winning should be quite high.

The categories are: social media, DeFi, NFT, metaverse and utility. For the purposes of this contest, “metaverse” submissions should be related to shared virtual worlds where things can be bought and sold. “Utility” submissions can be any kind of practical application that can be used by other ICON developers or even regular, non-technical consumers, making this a good catchall category for projects that don’t fit in any of the other categories.

As mentioned above, the grand prize for best DApp is USD 10 thousand, with five and three grand going to second and third place. Individual categories will also each have a USD 1000 prize for best social media DApp, best metaverse DApp, etc. Furthermore, student submissions will have their own prize pool, with USD five, three and one grand going to first, second and third place, respectively, and 500 bucks for each best-of-category.

Judged by the leaders of the ICON Project

Devera Blockathon — Expansion ICON 2.0 is no minor initiative — it’s being judged by the founder of ICON, Min Kim, himself. Other judges include Daeki Lee, Head of the ICON Ecosystem, and Daesun Park, CTO of Devera parent company Lecle Corp.

The judges will be looking for four main criteria to choose the best submissions:

  1. Idea: Preference for simple but unique ideas that will expand the ICON 2.0 ecosystem
  2. Implementation: Preference for DApps with an appealing, easy-to-use user experience
  3. Development: The blockchain implementation should interface with the ICON protocol via SCORE
  4. Value: Preference for projects that add value to the real world and the ICON 2.0 ecosystem

The judges will deliberate during the first week of January, 2022, and the winners will be announced the following week.

Rules, rules, rules

Got your attention? Great! The steps to register for the hackathon are as follows:

When creating your submission project, the rules are slightly different for international developers and Devera students.

Developers must build a fully functioning software application that uses ICON Smart Contract (SCORE) or interfaces with the ICON protocol in some way. SCORE testing and development must use the Sejong ICON testnet, and must be followed by a SCORE audit.

Devera’s VNU students are not expected to develop fully functional software or build SCORE smart contracts. Instead, they can use available ICON SDKs to develop backend services that communicate with existing ICON Smart Contracts.

Once you’re finished your project, here’s how to make it official by submitting on your Devera Blockathon dashboard:

  • Link to your functional software application on Devpost.
  • Link to your solution code on GitHub or another public or private code repository. (If you use a private repository, please give access to [email protected] and let them know.)
  • Create a demo video and upload to Youtube or Vimeo. Provide a link on the dashboard.
  • Fill in all of the required fields on your submission page.

Ending the year with a bang

With ICON having upgraded to version 2.0 of their blockchain just last week, the timing for this hackathon couldn’t be better.

“What we really hope to see is an expanding ecosystem of DApps and services on the ICON network, to prove to the public that ICON is one of the major contenders in the blockchain space,” Nguyen said. “And after a major upgrade, with ICE and BTP coming soon, this is the absolute best time to make it happen. It’s a great way to bring 2021 to a close — and what a great year for ICON it was!”

It could also be a great sign of further commitment to come. As of the ICON 2.0 upgrade, the Contribution Proposal Fund is no longer limited by a constantly diminishing pool of ICX, but is now funded directly by network inflation. In theory, a bigger ICON ecosystem should bring more network inflation, which would increase the available funds for new projects — and new hackathons.

Which could mean, in theory, that we are on the cusp of a massive growth period for ICON and ICX. Right? Right?! Well, this writer can only hope, but it’s up to all you developers out there to help make it happen. So, on that note, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get hacking!

You can keep up to date with news about the hackathon by joining their official Twitter and Facebook pages. Lastly, here’s their website link again — register early to make sure you can start on time.