Future of Blockchain Hackathon: NEAR Recap

May 21, 2020

NEAR participated in the Future of Blockchain Hackathon hosted by StakeZero Ventures. The hackathon started in December 2019 and continued until March 2020.

We would like to thank StakeZero Ventures for hosting the event, and all those amazing participants, whom we had a chance to meet and get started building on NEAR. 

What made this hackathon special?

We want to make our resources available for all developers, no matter their technical background and experience with blockchain technologies. To engage students across our initiatives we place extra focus on creating accessible resources, on working directly with university clubs and participating in academic initiatives like the Future of Blockchain Hackathon.

In most crypto-related hackathons, participants are either long-time developers from the web2 space or already familiar with developing decentralised applications (dApps). In comparison, the Future of Blockchain Hackathon creates a space for students to get started developing on blockchains by providing more time. Rather than taking place over a weekend, participants have a much longer period to build. In the end, participants are able to showcase a more thoughtful, in-depth project.

For further information, head over to their blog.

NEAR had more than a dozen teams sign up to participate from a range of backgrounds including everyone from PhD candidates to undergraduate students. Overall, most of the students who participated had never read into blockchain before. Thus, their approach to new challenges was quite different to developers, who already have a mental model in place on how they like to solve challenges. 

Ultimately, 10 teams submitted a final project, which moved forward into the judging phase. 


For the full prize list and projects that have been selected, please refer to the official post by StakeZero Ventures.

The second prize went to two amazing projects, ChironCoin and NEAR Finance. 

  • ChironCoin enables the sharing of trading algorithms through a platform-specific token.
  • NEAR Finance is a Finance tracking and management extension to the NEAR wallet.

The final prize went to Vivid IoV Labs. Our Community Manager Anais had a call with the team to get further insights on their hackathon experiences and learn more about their plan ahead. 

Interview with Vivid IoV Labs

Could you please summarise Vivid?

Vivid enables you to see what’s happening anywhere in the world in real-time by making live video streaming requests. What’s happening on the ground right now? How’s the surf? How are the crowds at the protest? These questions get answered in real-time. 

The startup is a peer-to-peer live-streaming app that leverages blockchain-based micropayments, a concept that wouldn’t be viable on a standard network, to reward content creators in real-time. As a stream gains popularity a payment pool is created incentivising a variety of user types, not just influencers. Location-based bounties help companies engage with users in an interactive way through our platform. Machine learning is used to create a reputation system that will help to maintain an abuse-free experience for participants.

How did you come to work together? Did you know each other before?

We have in fact only recently met. Each of us applied to UCL & Ripple’s Block-Sprint hackathon as individuals, however, after winning the top award it was clear we had a good team to carry on with and therefore formalised the company, Vivid IoV Labs. Each member of the team has a solid skillset in disparate areas which we think makes us work well together.

Where did the idea for your App come from? Is there a backstory?

The original idea was seeded when the founders found themselves mutually frustrated at clickbait from content creators and a user experience blighted by ad interruptions. After working on another location-based platform, we saw the opportunity to empower users to receive the viewing experience they want by requesting content within a map interface. Uber for live Streaming!

Having been monitoring blockchain developments for a number of years, it was apparent that there was a great opportunity to leverage new tech, such as micropayments, for a new type of app in the booming live streaming market – fundamentally improving the user experience for viewers whilst creating a fairer method for rewarding creators.

What importance does blockchain have in building your App? I.e. Why Blockchain?

  • Enables micropayments – we want to help people stream money as this can unlock all manner of opportunities.
  • Payment settlement can be incredibly fast – we want to provide efficient processes and choice for our customers.
  • Supports the web 3.0 economy – we want to onboard customers into the new economy and play our part in providing privacy, transparency and giving users control of their data and assets.
  • Sharing the wealth – we want to provide a fairer way for content producers and publishers to be rewarded for their work.

What is your long-term vision for the App?

To be the live streaming platform where users get the content they want and creators get paid

fairly. Through the platform users can find out what’s happening at a particular place instantly, micro-influencers can fully engage followers with the requested content and are rewarded fairly, and brands can create highly engaging location-based experiences for fans.

Why did you choose NEAR vs. any of the other Layer 1 Protocols that were present at the hackathon?

  • Compatibility for micropayments
  • Best developer resources
  • Recommended by people within our network (reputation/word of mouth)

For further insights and next steps for Vivid, have a look at their blog. If you have any questions about Vivid, please reach out directly to the founders here and sign-up on their website to be the first to hear about the latest developments.

You are a student and want to get started on NEAR?

Join us at the University of Washington Blockchain Hackathon from the 22nd to the 24th of May. You can find all information and how to sign-up on their website.

How can you get involved?

NEAR is hosting several hackathons and has weekly community events. You can find a full list in our events calendar.

If you would like to get involved contributing to NEAR’s technical or community efforts, please have a look at the contributor program.

We look forward to seeing you get involved. Have questions? Join our Community Chat.

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