As one of India's largest DeFi hackathon this year, the event featured up to $25,000 in prizes and $5,000 in AWS credits for participating projects. Participants attended two in-person meetups, hands-on builder sessions, and speaker panels with DeFi leaders. By facilitating this collaborative developer event, DeFiChain Labs aimed to catalyze innovation in DeFi and bridge the gap between today's capabilities and the full potential of an open, transparent, and inclusive financial system built on blockchain.
Kick-Off - Venue and Participants Stats
On November 25th, over 140 developers and hackers gathered at WeWork in Bangalore to kick off the 10-day hackathon and collaborate on building DeFi applications using DeFiChain. The opening keynote from Prasanna Loganathar, Head of Engineering at DeFiChain Labs, set the tone for the event with an inspiring vision for the potential of open DeFi development.
Participants attended hands-on builder sessions led by DeFiChain's Soham Chakraborty, Core Blockchain Engineer, and Swarnabha Sinha, Developer Relations. These workshops provided valuable insights into developing DeFiChain, equipping attendees with the practical knowledge to start building over the 10-day event.
The kick-off marked the start of an exciting innovation sprint, with developers forming teams and beginning to develop ideas into working prototypes and products. The energy and enthusiasm were palpable among the local blockchain community united by a shared passion for the transformative potential of decentralized finance.
As hackathon teams coalesced and began developing ideas, they gained valuable perspective by attending a panel discussion on "Bridging the Gap Between DeFi and Traditional Banking." This thought-provoking session featured insights from leading experts in the Indian DeFi space:
- Anomit Ghosh, CTO and Co-Founder of Powerloom
- Mihir Gupta, CTO of Coinvise
- Zeel Patel, Founding Member of Layer3
- Anshu Agarwal, Co-Founder of logXtrade
Moderated by Liam O’Hagan, Head of Marketing at DeFiChain Labs, the panel examined the complex challenges and potential pathways involved in integrating decentralized finance built on blockchain with traditional banking and financial infrastructure. They explored technical, regulatory, cultural, and adoption hurdles that must be overcome to derive the benefits of an open, transparent, and decentralized financial system while maintaining integration with existing structures.
Both decentralized and centralized systems have strengths and weaknesses, and thoughtfully bridging these two worlds can accelerate innovation and financial access. By participating in this discussion, developers gained a critical perspective on real-world complexity as they ideated solutions to drive the next generation of connected finance.
This DeFi hackathon drew over 300+ participants, making it one of the largest and most competitive events of its kind this year. With ~50 team entries and 260+ individual participants, the excitement was palpable.
The hackathon attracted developers from all over the country, yet the enthusiasm was best captured by the 140+ hackers who gathered in person for the opening Bangalore kickoff event. This energetic in-person launch event set the tone for the intense but collaborative innovation sprint to come over the following 10 days.
The caliber of submissions reflected the fierce competition, with only the most innovative projects making the Grand Prize entry deadline. Judges of over 20 formidable contenders faced a major challenge in identifying the standouts that demonstrated exceptional quality and potential impact.
The abbreviated timeline allowed just 10 days for competitors to organize, ideate, build, and polish functional prototypes - a testament to the dedication and capabilities of the participating developers. The submitted projects cleared a high bar of working products with underlying blockchain integration, not just ideas.
Evaluating these submissions required assessing technical proficiency and real-world applicability to advance the DeFi ecosystem. The judges searched for projects that could move the needle on adoption by improving user experience and access while leveraging the transparency and trust enabled by blockchain-based decentralized finance.
To celebrate the culmination of the intense 10-day innovation sprint, a festive demo day and mixer was held at Umbaa Rooftop and Pub in Whitefield. This evening event provided a well-deserved respite for the hardworking hackathon participants to unwind while gaining valuable project exposure.
Leading up to the casual pitching sessions, hackers enjoyed top-notch food, drinks, and music after their non-stop efforts to take concepts to work prototypes. By sponsoring a best-in-class venue and entertainment, the hackathon organizers expressed immense appreciation for the skill and dedication shown by all competitors.
The presentations in the relaxed rooftop atmosphere offered teams the opportunity to demonstrate their innovations among the most relevant audience - their fellow builders in the DeFi space. Beyond potential prize winners, real value emerged from forging new professional connections and sharing learnings from the development process.
A panel of esteemed judges with diverse expertise across DeFi assembled to evaluate hackathon submissions and determine the Grand Prize winner. This difficult decision required assessing innovations across technical implementation, real-world applicability, and future potential.
The judging panel included:
- Prasanna Loganathar, Head of Engineering at DeFiChain Labs - Offering invaluable perspective on the DeFiChain protocol and ecosystem fit
- Garvit Khatri, Founding Engineer of Pimlico - Supplying critical evaluation of technical architectures and coding approaches
- Gautham Santhosh, Founder of Polynomial Protocol - Contributing extensive experience scaling DeFi platforms and integrations
- René Darmoš, Managing Partner of Moonhill Capital - Providing investment acumen to gauge commercial viability and user adoption
With many promising submissions showcasing skilled execution, the judging process involved tough trade-offs and balancing diverse criteria. Combining evaluations from experts across strategy, engineering, and commercialization, the Grand Prize winner selection focused on work with the greatest likelihood of advancing decentralized finance through development excellence and real-world impact.
All participating developers demonstrated impressive dedication that will collectively drive open infrastructure for finance. However, the judges agreed on the most outstanding submission to receive the top honors.
After careful consideration, the judging panel selected MAPX as the Grand Prize Winner, awarding the team $4,500 for their innovative project enabling geo-tagged NFT creation. MAPX empowers users to explore the world while capturing unique digital collectibles tied to locations.
The judges praised MAPX for their technical implementation, leveraging DeFiChain to link NFTs with geographic coordinates. Additionally, they were impressed by promising real-world applications, allowing creators to mint location-based digital content. MAPX demonstrated outstanding quality across criteria such as engineering, complexity, ecosystem fit and commercial viability.
The runner-up, awarded $1,500, was DeFiChain.in, a knowledgeable community platform designed to educate through quest-based lessons about DeFi and blockchain. Users can level up their expertise while earning governance tokens, enabling the next generation of informed advocates.
Both winning projects exemplified skilled and thoughtful development paired with the user-centric application of DeFiChain capabilities. All hackathon participants should be commended for the dedication that collectively moves decentralized infrastructure forward. Yet MAPX and DeFiChain.in proved especially distinguished in driving mainstream decentralized finance adoption.
Please view the winning projects below:
- MAPX: https://devfolio.co/projects/mapx-5b96
- DeFiChain.in: https://devfolio.co/projects/defichainin-learn-empower-and-earn-dollardfi-2ca8
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- ESCROW - Securing Trust, Facilitating Transactions – Your Escrow, Your Assurance.
- MetaTinder - A decentralised dating platform on the blockchain
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- Travel-Defy - Explore beyond boundaries with the exclusive NFTs.
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- AudioPure - The platform where you can upload video and remove the background noise from it.
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DevHack 2023 by DeFiChain Labs was a massive success, from getting throngs of devs in the heart of Bangalore to the pan-Indian hacker teams to build on the DeFiChain. We saw amazing energy and participation across the 10 days, and the work that devs in this hackathon put was truly exemplary. This wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support we got from India, its devs, communities, founders and engineers. We would love to thank all judges and speakers who gave us their precious time and their expertise for judging and providing insights on the future of DeFi.