Ethereum, Tezos, Stellar Foundations back a hackathon to make crypto ‘useful and usable’

The foundations and firms behind five blockchain protocols - Ethereum, Tezos, Stellar, Oasis and NEAR - have partnered with an online hackathon event to make blockchains and cryptocurrencies “useful and usable.”

The hackathon, organized by design firm IDEO’s business unit IDEO CoLab, and token sale platform CoinList, starts on Aug. 5 and ends on Sept. 22, according to an announcement today. Participants will have to build blockchain applications and projects that “radically” simplify the user experience, bring people to cryptocurrencies and vice-versa.

“By putting the emphasis of the hackathon squarely on usability, we hope to push teams to expand the number of potential users and make their experiences accessible to new users who aren't already using crypto or decentralized applications,” Dan Elitzer, an investor at IDEO CoLab Ventures, told The Block.

The hackathon partners are looking for projects such as one-click or automatic creation and verification of blockchain-based proofs of authenticity, a remittance-focused mobile interface for peer-to-peer exchange services, and integrating cryptocurrencies into channels such as YouTube and Reddit, among others.

Participating teams will have to deliver a functional version of their project by Sept. 9 and spend the rest of the duration of the hackathon to demonstrate traction and get adoption ("Adoptathon").

"That spirit of pairing of building with working on growth and traction, showing that what you built is compelling and getting people to engage with it in real ways, is something that can really help push this ecosystem forward," said Elitzer.

A winner and a runner-up of the event will get prizes of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The five teams who build projects based on the five protocols will get $2,000 each.

Earlier this month, IDEO CoLab also launched a blockchain accelerator program, which is backed by Fidelity, Deloitte, Amazon, and 20 other firms. The program recently attracted over 50 mentors to help blockchain startups and entrepreneurs scale further.