Solana Ignition - 5 Million Dollar Hackathon! Projects are now up for voting!

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Ignition.png

Solana's latest hackathon - Ignition - finished at the end of last week. The project entries have now been revealed and voting for the Community Choice award takes place until Friday.

The hackathon came with $5m in prizes and funding, including a $75k top prize for the overall winners and over $100k in prizes for each of the four main tracks:

  • Web3
  • DeFi
  • Gaming
  • Art & Collectibles

I'd note that from the list of prizes, a lot of that $5m must be funding! You can see the full list of prizes here:
https://solana.com/ignition

The number of entry projects was 568! A significant rise from the 326 projects of the (already very succesful) Solana Summer hackathon which finished back in June.

For me the interest of these hackathons is not so much in the work produced but in the ideas generated. Six weeks is far too short a time to produce a full product but it's a great opportunity to get out an initial proof-of-concept. Browsing through (some of!) the 568 projects gives a great flavour of where things could be going and how the space is evolving.

You can see all the entries here:
https://ignition.devpost.com/project-gallery

Here's a few that I picked out in my wanderings...

Solvatar.png
https://devpost.com/software/solvatar

Solvatar

I've seen quite a few wallet address naming services through which you replace your complex wallet address with a simple name. However this is the first time I've seen one which aims to create an on-chain appearance bound to your wallet.

I like the idea. Given the growing importance of the metaverse and the still anonymous nature of much of crypto, having an avatar wallet that can wander around and interact with smart contracts in virtual space feels like where things could be going.

It's kind of a mix between wallet-address-naming and NFTs. They've thrown some complexity in there with the way in which you mint the clothes which I'm not sure about. But the general overarching idea, I think, is a good one.

Crowny.png
https://devpost.com/software/crowny

Crowny

Aside from the Brave browser, there's not a huge amount of projects in the advertising space for crypto. Partly, of course, because crypto is all about owning your own keys, your own coins, and your own data. And also because ads suck.

Crowny aims to give users control and choice over the advertising they receive. Users subscribe to the brands that they like. Brands can then reach out to their user base with notifications and micro tasks, discounts and so forth. Users receive loyalty points for their interactions which they can then spend in the store.

It's a well thought out concept. 99% of advertising I receive by mail goes straight in the bin. My eyes are accustomed to simply ignoring any online advertising that is not blocked. Spotify adverts go on mute. I opt-out.

But an app that allows me to opt-in to targeted adverts from brands that interest me, in return for loyalty points. I'm in.

Whether it needs to be decentralised is another question. But then again, why not? It protects my data and my choices, assuming it releases the data only to the brand I link to. Perhaps the question in future should be, does it really need to be centralised?

Divvy.png
https://devpost.com/software/divvy-ayxup0

Divvy

Maybe this is confirmation bias, since I've written about blockchain betting before, but for me betting is one of the most obvious industries for disruption by blockchain and crypto. It's increasingly online, the amounts involved are huge, it's essentially a peer-to-peer industry and yet the middlemen take a ridiculous cut despite users putting up all the liquidity.

Despite there initially being lots of prediction markets developed back in 2017-2018, and there being a fair number of pure casino gambling apps out there, the major level 1 blockchains don't yet have huge sports betting apps. I think this is about to change.

Whether Divvy is that change is not clear to me. There's an early version of the app available but it does not have the peer-to-peer feel that I was looking for. Really I want to be offering the odds as well as taking them. And there's not enough information to understand their claim that "liquidity providers are the house". So there's potential but I want more info before I become more interested.

But someone will own this space. And soon.

That's it for today. Go find a project and vote for it!

Not financial advice and not an endorsement of any of the projects mentioned. Please do your own research. Remember that new projects in particular are potentially subject to hacks, rugs, and scams.

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