Top Highlights from the Sydney ETHGlobal Hackathon

Top Highlights from the Sydney ETHGlobal Hackathon

A weekend of innovation, collaboration, and Lilypad integration

The atmosphere was electric with ideas, code and hackathon spirit as teams came together for a weekend of coding and creativity at ETHGlobal Sydney. ETHGlobal created an inspiring setting with numerous breakout areas, snacks and unlimited caffeine, promoting an active exchange of ideas and nurturing a strong camaraderie among participants. The venue was humming with a shared passion for innovation and the potential to shape the future of technology, bringing together a diverse group of individuals (many of whom had travelled internationally to attend) ranging from seasoned developers to blockchain enthusiasts just starting their journey. As a result of such diversity, the Sydney event served as a melting pot of cultures and perspectives, enriching the experience for everyone involved.

The hackathon drew a wide array of participants, ranging from experienced developers to newcomers eager to explore the practical applications of blockchain. Regardless of their backgrounds or experience, all attendees were united by a zealous interest in pushing the boundaries of innovation and their collective ambition to drive the future of web3 technology forward. The overarching sentiment was clear; participants were there to innovate, forge long-lasting connections, and contribute to the nurturing and supportive ETHGlobal community.

Hackers discussing their builds at ETHGlobal Sydney

The EthGlobal Hackathon rallied Ideas and Inspiration

The EthGlobal Hackathon in Sydney started with an opening ceremony that set an exhilarating tone for the weekend. From the moment the event began, ideas were flowing thick and fast as participants shared their visions and excitement. This initial burst of energy proved contagious, setting the stage for a weekend full of innovation. Developers, designers, and blockchain enthusiasts quickly began to form teams, eager to transform their rapid-fire ideas into functioning prototypes over the next few days.

As the hackathon progressed over the weekend, the atmosphere was electric with collaboration. The space buzzed with discussions, coding, and spontaneous brainstorming sessions as teams tackled complex problems and explored new possibilities within blockchain technology. The event provided a platform and a catalyst for all attending to push the limits of their problem-solving and technical skills. Mentors roamed the venue in bright orange vests, offering guidance and insights, further enriching the experience for those tinkering with ideas or crafting code.

Lilypad Distributed Compute Innovations

During the hackathon, the Lilypad team guided various groups on how to use the powerful capabilities of the Lilypad network. Many teams utilised the network's computing power, which is specialised in efficiently managing containerised workloads that require substantial computational resources. This feature proved crucial for projects that needed intensive data processing and AI-driven generation. The Lilypad network's versatility allowed it to be used in various projects, from humanitarian aid distribution, where quick processing of relief effort datasets was essential, to e-commerce platforms seeking to enhance and personalise customer interactions.

During the hackathon, a few teams utilised the Lilypad Command Line Interface (CLI) to incorporate the processing capabilities of the Lilypad network into their DevOps strategies. This integration made it seamless and efficient to process data, which is crucial for deploying microservices and managing extensive computational tasks. The versatility of the Lilypad network was showcased through its application across a variety of GPU-demanding processing. It was used in AI training scenarios where immense computational power is critical to develop and refine complex algorithms. Moreover, its capabilities were utilised in e-commerce to enhance customer interaction personalisation and in humanitarian aid efforts to process relevant datasets swiftly. This wide-ranging application of the network highlighted its ability to meet the heavy compute demands of diverse sectors, underscoring its transformative potential in tackling intricate computational challenges.

As sponsor partners, the Lilypad team prepared to participate in the submission judging on the final day. Given the participants' outstanding performance throughout the weekend, we knew that selecting the first and second-place winners for the best use of Lilypad would be challenging. However, two entries stood out and caught our attention.

Lilypad 1st Place - Leanr Idle Mining Game

Produced by a solo builder, Learnr Idle Mining is an NFT game introduced at ETHGlobal, which cleverly integrates an idle gaming mechanic with machine learning capabilities alongside blockchain. In this game, players manage characters that navigate through meticulously crafted grid worlds to collect resources. These characters are unique NFTs that don’t just perform tasks—they learn and enhance their skills using reinforcement learning, adapting their strategies to optimise performance continually.

What sets this game apart is the utilisation of the Lilypad network to support its innovative gameplay. The grid worlds where characters explore and learn are not static; a containerised Python application dynamically generates them. This application runs on the Lilypad network and is triggered on-demand by player actions or game events, ensuring that the gaming experience is both scalable and responsive to the needs of the gameplay. Each NFT evolves, becoming smarter and more efficient with every training session, embodying the notion of a 'living' digital entity that grows and improves over time.

The code is available here, and you can learn more about Learnr on the ETHGLobal Showcast page.

Lilypad 2nd Place - Slick CI

A team of five individuals utilised Lilypad to develop a project called Slick CI, which provides developers with a tool to use decentralised cloud infrastructure and a CI/CD workflow. This development tool integrates with GitHub using a dedicated OAuth application and a user-friendly website created using Node.js and React.js. Developers can easily connect their GitHub repositories, allowing them to switch their CI/CD operations from traditional platforms to a decentralised environment with better uptime and resilience.

What stood out about Slick CI is its deployment of Lilypad network nodes to Akash Network infrastructure. By adjusting just one line in their Actions YAML file, developers can redirect their CI/CD tasks to run on Slick CI, compiled through the Lilypad network via the deployed Lilypad node running on Akash. These specially configured runners facilitate and optimise code builds, offering a significant cost advantage compared to GitHub's default runners. They also increase scalability and efficiency in handling build processes utilising the available GPUs from the Lilypad Network.

Their code is available here, and you can learn more about Learnr on the ETHGLobal Showcast page.

Get involved

While this article highlights key moments like the Lilypad network Bounty prize winners, it's just a glimpse into the event's vibrancy. Throughout the weekend, 66 ideas were turned into working prototypes, brought to life at this year's ETHGlobal Sydney, showcasing a community united in innovating and transforming ideas into viable projects. The event was a vibrant display of cooperation, illustrating the vast potential that unfolds when diverse minds collaborate.

As the hackathon drew to a close, there was a palpable sense of hope that participants would continue to refine and expand their projects. The inspiration and momentum from the weekend have set the groundwork, and the future seems bright for these innovators who are not just coding but actively seeking out new and innovative paths in a technology-driven future.

I want to give a special shout-out and thanks to the team at ETHGlobal for putting on another great global event in Sydney. Facilitating such an event, bringing together people with ideas and inspiring them to build with tenacity, requires significant organisation and coordination. Thanks for having us!

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