1) What

1) What
Hackers at ETHBerlin³ <3

2) To hack at ETHBerlin04

Hey future ETHBerlin hackers! We are excited to unveil the hackathon tracks and prizes for our "Identity Crisis" edition which is happening in MAY (not September). 

Before we dive in, make sure to apply as a hacker asap here if you haven't yet!

For this year's edition of our hackathon, we invite you to think critically and reflect on the decentralized ecosystems we are building. Do we succeed in creating solid alternatives to old and censoring systems or are we more and more part of the problem?

How can we escape the current identity crisis that our space is so evidentally facing? Both on a metaphorical, ethical layer ("What are our values?", "What do we want to achieve?") as well as on a more practical, literal level ("How do we handle identity and privacy in the on-chain world?"), the community identity seems to be falling apart.

That's why we need *you* to think about what contributions can help us shift the ecosystem in the right direction again. To make things even more exciting, we have a prize pool of 50,000+ DAI to reward the best projects.

And, just like last year, we encourage hackers at ETHBerlin04 to focus on the following key attributes:

  • Private: There is no need for your name, data, or ID.
  • Usable: It has to be accessible and user-friendly.
  • Direct: It does not ask for permission.
  • Subversive: It transforms established orders and structures of power.
  • Social: It empowers people and makes a difference in somebody's life.
  • Clandestine: It will not comply.
  • Independent: It will not rely on governments, corporates, or investors.
  • Impactful: It intends to make a difference.
  • Secure: It does not put anyone at risk.
  • Libre: It will be free, both as in free speech and free lemonade.

OGs will notice that we are following a similar format to ETHBerlin³, with the addition of some new prizes (and a couple of twists). One main difference is that ETHBerlin04 is a sponsorless event, therefore we will have no sponsor bounties. But there is still plenty for you to hack on to keep you busy throughout the weekend. 

Now for the part you've all been waiting for... we present to you the ETHBerlin04 hackathon tracks! Hopefully, this should get you thinking about what to hack in Berlin with us this May.

The Track Awards

The track awards are centered around themes that align with our manifesto, and what we believe the industry needs to re-focus on. The winning teams of the track awards receive 7,000 DAI.

Defensive Tooling: This track is the right choice for you if you want to hack on tools that enhance security and privacy. It's about building projects that prioritize defense, decentralization, and resilience to create a more secure and freer world. 
Think topics like encryption, counter-surveillance, identity protection, anonymity, anti-identity, security, local data handling, and anything that armors the individual against intrusive data collection practices.

Freedom to Transact: This track is for you if you want to ensure that anyone, anywhere, anytime can facilitate unrestricted transactions. 

We're looking for projects that enable people to access and send money, or value, across borders without restrictions, promoting financial inclusion. This track is for those who want to hack on peer-to-peer solutions, build censorship-resistant applications, and ensure that transactions can be private and secure.

Social Technologies: This track is all about platforms and tools that enable informed and collective decision-making, transparent governance, and collaboration and coordination among decentralized communities.

If you want to build credibly neutral systems for voting, governance, and social interaction, and systems that counter disproportionate influence of centralized powers then this track is for you and your team. Other ideas you could hack on are consensus-finding algorithms, sybil resistance, and decentralized social reputation.

Infrastructure: The backbone of the revolution. This track is dedicated to the architects and builders laying down the underlying infrastructures that robust distributed public goods need to run efficiently and reliably. 

Projects could include protocol specification and implementations, networking, developer tools, and hardware. 

The Excellence Awards

Back by popular demand, please welcome the Excellence Awards. The winners of each of these get 5,000 DAI and these are to recognise the following:

  • Best Smart Contracts: Outstanding smart contract code quality and documentation, security and gas-optimization.
  • Best Social Impact: Outstanding positive impact on underserved communities and society as a whole.
  • Best User Experience: Outstanding user experience that does not sacrifice on security, privacy or self-custody.

The Meta Award

We'd like to introduce a new category this year, the Meta Award, as an ode to ETHBerlin being powered by many awesome open-source projects. So for this one we invite you to go meta by building contributions that improve the ETHBerlin experience itself! Projects eligible for this award can either pick from our wishlist (coming soon™) of contributions, or can build an entirely new thing that they consider to be a positive impact for future versions of ETHBerlin. The winner of this track will receive 4,000 DAI.

The Hackers Choice Award (a post-hackathon prize)

Finally, there will be a prize where you, our hackers, will be able to pick your favourite project from the weekend. Once the hackathon is over we'll give you a few days to breathe again, review the submissions and then cast your vote on which project you liked the most. The winner of this award will receive 7,000 DAI.

Don't forget there's still time to apply for your chance to hack and win one of the prizes above! But the clock is ticking...

Looking forward to welcoming you to Berlin and see what exciting projects you create!

The ETHBerlin Team 🖤💛

(Special thanks to Rose for her input)

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