2019 Odyssey Hackathon recap

From the 11th-15th of April 2019 we’ve taken part in the Odyssey Hackathon, the biggest blockchain hackathon in the world. What a journey it was with over 1500 participants, 100 teams and 11 future topics asking for solutions. The scale, the organisation, the venue were all incredibly impressive. Most importantly, the ambition has grown from previous years. Odyssey’s CEO Rutger van Zuidam has described it as “the commonization of our digital infrastructure”. We carried this ambition throughout the whole hackathon, while working on the development of novel sustainable funding mechanisms for open-source protocols that will benefit a multi-stakeholder ecosystem.

About Odyssey

Odyssey is a blockchain & AI hackathon where top teams and governmental, corporate, and non-profit launching partners co-create solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, backed by an ecosystem you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Here, the developers, entrepreneurs, and creatives work side-by-side with big corporates, governmental bodies, financial regulators, legal and technical experts, and key industry stakeholders, to unlock new protocols and new markets.

Official Odyssey Hackathon 2019 Aftermovie

Winning Track: New Ways of Funding Protocol Creation

Decentralised protocols, by their very nature, have no ownership and current investment vehicles do not facilitate institutional or VC investments into unowned technology. This results in an inability to have well-funded commonized protocols.

A solution is required to enable the building of protocols that are well adopted and self-owned, so that new, proprietary markets can be built on top of them. This issue has garnered a lot of attention at the Odyssey Hackathon. The Tokenizing the Ecosystem track has challenged teams to find a new way of investing in internet protocols, prioritising a more collaborative approach.

Within Tokenizing the Ecosystem track, five talented teams are addressing this issue by building investment vehicles that align investors with builders to drive mass adoption through protocols. This should make the digital commons economically viable, and investable, but the question remains; how do we really do that?

The teams are approaching it in different ways. While one team is using augmented bonding curves to design a scalable fundraising mechanism for sustainable, continuously funded, and self-governed organisations; there are others that are focusing on visualising investments, stimulating co-operation between hackathon teams by using a voting mechanism, and even building an ecosystem that transforms malignant investment behavior.

“As we figure this [protocol investment vehicle] out, we are creating more momentum for a new wave of protocols and the rise of a neutral digital public infrastructure built on the internet, for everyone to use and build upon,” says Abe Scholte, one of the Tokenizing the Ecosystem track supporters.

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Coders Make their Mark on Sustainability

For businesses to thrive without having a harmful impact on the environment, a switch from a linear to circular economic model is not only paramount, but also logical. The rational path, however, is not always the path of least resistance. As we now operate in an economy where disposability and linear principals are dominant, changing the system will take innovation, collaboration, and commitment to break the existing model.

That is the focus of the circular economy discussion at the Odyssey Hackathon with 2 key emerging priorities:

  1. Circular exchange of tokenized assets:

In this new hybrid payment system, fed by material and social assets (such as mobility, data, energy), people can manage and exchange assets other than money, peer-to-peer and against the right exchange rates.

  1. Building a distributed data ecosystem to facilitate a circular economy:

The solutions developed in this track should answer how to make all information on real objects readily available in a distributed data ecosystem, thus facilitating a circular, smart economy and minimizing the risk. What if buildings have their own wallets?

The companies that joined these tracks are zooming in on the inefficiencies in the current economic systems to make a positive change all round. This, however, requires them to be bold and disruptive, which is why praising their efforts is so critical.

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