February 17, 2021

Liberate Data Week Hackathon — Recap

If you attended the Liberate Data hackathon last week, then you’ll know we had an amazing time. We were truly humbled by the participation and the support shown. It lifts the spirit to see how many people are engaged in what we are doing and even more so, what happens when the imagination goes wild and people start inventing their own projects on top of Swarm.

Talks, demos, and valuable announcements

The week was busy and each day was devoted to a fair-data-specific topic. Presentations, demos, and exclusive announcements were made on a daily basis. All this valuable content will be uploaded to YouTube for you to rewatch if you missed the events. We especially recommend that you watch at least days 1, 2, and 3 as those three days were packed with information-rich workshops, demos, and presentations.

Fairdrive as the go-to solution for building thin dApps on top of Swarm

The goal of the hackathon was to teach people how to get their Bee node up and running, and learn about Swarm incentives and the newly integrated Bzzaar feature of Swarm. The main goal, though, was for the community to learn about Fairdrive as the go-to solution for developing thin dApps on Swarm. A lot of effort was invested into demoing the FairOS and Fairdrive and to offer quality tech-support to the teams who registered for the hackathon.

Afterparties and networking

Remember the times when events were happening at a physical location and you could actually meet new people? That is currently not possible and this is sad.

But — we found this wonderful new platform called Gather.town that simulates real-life events. We were using it experimentally for the unofficial part of the hackathon, and each day we gathered in an environment where you could walk freely around and talk to the attendees.

It is not nearly as fun as the real thing, but it was nice to see all the familiar faces and meet a few new ones.

There were two types of projects

Some teams were building a thin dApp, using Fairdrive as the bridge to Swarm. Others were trying to upload as much public data to Swarm as possible. We saw the Open Street Maps come to life, working beautifully using FairOS, and we saw really cool and practical dApps (like https://pastebee.com/) come to life at this hackathon.

What really inspired us, though, was the creativity of the teams. It was the first time we were witnessing imagination run wild and seeing other people using Swarm in their own and unique ways. The possibilities of how people can use Swarm really are unlimited.

The ecosystem day

Saturday was an open day and anybody could apply for a talk or presentation. The time was used wisely by the teams that applied for the Swarm grants at our previous events. They took this time to show off the progress they are making with their projects.

It was amazing to see how far they have advanced and what their future plans are. We realized our ecosystem is growing rapidly and we are happy with how things are progressing. As we approach Swarm 1.0, the ecosystem is one of the things that we are really working hard on and things could not look brighter at this point.

On the closing day, we dropped the bomb: Swarm is airdropping 1 million BZZ tokens

Sunday concluded the hard work of the projects in the hackathon. The first part of the day was reserved for the projects to present their work to the jury. Although there were many more projects teams were working on, five of them made it to the finals and finished their work.

Pastebee dApp

The second part of the day was the jury’s announcement of the winners. The dApp that won the most hearts of the jury is a really neat, practical one and we invite you to try it out for yourself. Meet the https://pastebee.com/, a censorship-resistant, easy-to-use publishing tool on Swarm. And thanks to Pete Nickless, you can start using it right away.

Swarm Downloader

Another dApp that you can use right away is the Swarm downloader dApp by Dmitry Palchun & Alex Sakhaev. With it, you can easily install a Chrome extension that lets you download videos from YouTube and upload them to Swarm. Never again will they be able to censor the video content and this too is a really important step towards the censorship-resistant web. Moreover, this easy-to-use extension lets you insert video search results from Swarm to YouTube (or any other video hosting platform). A true guerilla-style hack that we love.

See the demos of all the projects here.

All five projects won first prize!

As all the projects were really great and well made, the jury decided they all deserved the first prize. All of them were rewarded with 5000 BZZ tokens. It seemed like the fair thing to do as it became clear that the hackathon was not a competition, but rather cooperation. And so it should be, because if we really want to make things work for web 3, we will need to work together.

The 1 million BZZ tokens airdrop

For the very last thing of the hackathon, we announced we will be rewarding our early adopters with a 1 million BZZ tokens airdrop. All you need to do to be eligible for the airdrop is install and run your own Bee node.

More details on what needs to be done, how it works, and how to get tech-support can be found in this airdrop announcement blog post here. You are advised to hurry up, install your Bee node and join the Swarm network in its early stages. There is still time for you to benefit greatly, and for the network to benefit from you as well.

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