The ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon drew to a close on Sunday, as builders from around the world competed for $375,000 in prizes. The event was kicked off with the first-ever ETHGlobal “Pragma” summit, sponsored by Verse, among others. Engineers and representatives from Bitcoin.com also took part in the summit and hackathon, and shared their thoughts on the event and its significance for crypto and economic freedom right now, and in the near future.

A Pragmatic Start: From Summit to Hackathon

The first-ever “Pragma” summit took place on April 13 in Tokyo, Japan, as the kick-off to the wider ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon, sponsored in part by Verse. Speakers such as Aya Miyaguchi from the Ethereum Foundation and author Balaji Srinivasan spoke at the event. The hackathon ended Sunday and saw participation from Bitcoin.com’s engineers and representatives.

Reverse Engineering the Future: Bitcoin.com Team Members Weigh In on ETHGlobal Tokyo Hackathon

Director of engineering at Bitcoin.com, Andrei Terentiev, who oversees the company’s 30+ strong engineering team, noted he was “super excited for the ETH global hackathon, especially since Japan has been closed down to outside visitors for the past three years or so, it’s a great chance to meet more of the global cryptocurrency community and share new ideas that will push forward the cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole.” Terentiev continued:

Overall I think most participants in the event are all striving towards the same mission of cryptocurrency which is to create more economic freedom for the world. So being able to meet up in person helps spread those ideas and flourish across the world.

Data engineer at Bitcoin.com, Bolun Zhang, said of the event: “Being a tech guy, I’m always interested in keeping up with the latest trends in the industry and exploring cool projects being undertaken by my peers.”

$375,000 in prizes were available from myriad industry players and platforms like 1inch Network, Gnosis Chain, Metamask, and more.

Web3, Reverse Lotteries, and Prediction Markets

“At the event, we’ll be building what we’re calling a decentralized lottery,” growth marketing specialist at Bitcoin.com Alun Stern told Bitcoin.com News just prior to the hackathon. The first part of the application is “kind of like a reverse lottery … in a traditional lottery, one person wins, and everyone else loses. In this system, everyone will win, and one person will lose. The loser’s funds will get distributed across the winning participants.”

Stern explained that the team would be designing the lottery in such a way that the loser would get a rare NFT. The second part of the app works similarly to prediction markets, he said, noting:

Somebody will be able to propose an event, they will assign an arbiter, and they will assign multiple choice options … The interesting thing about this is not only are these prediction markets used for people to bet on future outcomes — they can also be used to influence the future and basically change the future.

Stern explained that someone willing to pay enough money could bet that an influencer on social media would not promote a project, incentivizing said influencer to do just that.

Ahead of the event, a software engineer on the web team at Bitcoin.com, Julie, emphasized that the hackathon would provide many benefits, including getting people more familiar with the burgeoning world of Web3. She commented:

[The hackathon] will give us an opportunity to share ideas and work with different people on interesting new products that can help users to onboard into the crypto world, as well as help developers hone their skills and dive into Web3 if they didn’t have any experience with it before. It will be great to see what everyone comes up with!

The Bitcoin.com team wrapped up the event with an implementation prize from Scroll, a “zkEVM-based zkRollup on Ethereum that enables native compatibility for existing Ethereum applications and tools.”

What are your thoughts on the ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon? Have you ever participated in a hackathon before? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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