Allo / Arbitrum Hackaton Hosted by BuidlBox, Allo & Arbitrum

Allo / Arbitrum Hackaton Hosted by BuidlBox, Allo & Arbitrum

Hackathon run dates: 12/8/23 - 01/10/24

Writing a retrospective to consolidate our learnings, share insights, and reflect on the overall experience of the most recent Allo/Arbitrum hackathon.

1. Introduction

This hackathon presented a trio of exciting challenges, each offering a slice of the substantial 40,000 ARB token prize pool. That’s right, an impressive 40K ARB tokens up for grabs! These challenges, more aptly categorized as ‘realms’ of innovation, were:

  1. Best Novel Funding Distribution Tool :truck:
  2. Best Review and Evaluation Tool :mag:
  3. Best Use of the Project Registry

Throughout the hackathon, I led a workshop and, alongside my teamates 0xKurt, thelostone-mc and 0xZakk, actively engaged with participants by addressing their questions and providing guidance.

2. Highlights and Achievements

Innovative Projects & (our winners for the above 3 categories):

  1. Best Novel Distribution Tool
  • Third Place (3000 ARB) DAO Driven Crowdfunding I think we all love to see crowdfunding. This was a good choice for a prize winner, it was a novel way to inject investor money into a funding mechanism. The way a committee is formed and voting power is set proportional to their investment is a great way to keep the participants receiving the funds accountable. Also a new area that was explored was the ability to revoke the milestone if no progress is made. Curious to how the rewards system plays out :eyes:
  • Second Place (7000 ARB) Spray is a Windows 95 vibe, funding mechanism with a novel way to use an Allo custom strategy and the Hedgy Protocol to create linear streams of funds to approved projects. They also took advantage of using the pools to manage who votes using a sub-DAO type architechture, pretty neat.
  • First Place (10000 ARB) Conviction Voting App showcases the use of conviction voting within communities and takes first place. Its continuous funding model and features like dispute resolution are tailored to the needs of early-stage web3 projects. The focus on a user-friendly interface design highlights a deep understanding of user needs, distinguishing the project as a forward-thinking solution in the realm of grant distribution.
  1. Best Review and Evaluation Tool
  • Third Place (2000 ARB) Build3r: This presents a fascinating application in the realm of real estate development. I’m particularly intrigued by the process of converting cryptocurrency into fiat currency and ensuring that the actual supplier, builder, or developer receives the funds. Given that this system operates on a milestone-based approach, a key question is how to verify the completion of these milestones. This leads us into a deeper exploration of the supply chain aspect. It’s exciting to contemplate the potential real-world applications of this concept.
  • Second Place (3000 ARB) Allo Explorer I appreciated the Allo-Explorer’s effectiveness in tracking pool fund flows. Its map graph feature is particularly impressive, offering clear insights into application statuses and submissions. The tool is also invaluable for observing applications that draw from multiple pools, displaying received amounts from each. This not only aids in monitoring fund distribution but also helps pool managers gauge the reputation of applications, making it a vital resource for informed decision-making.
  • First Place (5000 ARB) AGDM or The Arbitrum Grants Defence Manager (AGDM) stands out as a robust dashboard offering grant managers an array of essential tools for effective grant round management. With features like a user-friendly interface for round statistics overview, it simplifies tracking progress and performance. The advanced threat detection and isolation system is particularly noteworthy, enabling managers to quickly identify and neutralize potential threats like attack bots and recycling attacks. AGDM’s innovative defense capabilities and integration with a Sybil database significantly enhance the security of grant rounds. Additionally, the platform’s invitation for contributions, including new detection methods and accompanying write-ups, fosters community involvement and continuous improvement, making AGDM not just a tool but a collaborative project in enhancing grant management security.
  1. Best Use of the Project Registry
  • Third Place (2000 ARB) Magari effectively addresses the challenges in decentralized, cross-chain work environments. Integrating with the Allo Protocol, it enables the smooth transfer of funds across different chains, ensuring contributors get paid regardless of their location in the blockchain ecosystem. Leveraging the Allo Registry for security and Chainlink CCIP for transferring ‘Gilts’ (bonded fund NFTs), Margari simplifies fund distribution while providing flexibility and safety. This makes it a noteworthy solution for managing decentralized project funding and mitigating the complexities of cross-chain transactions.
  • Second Place (3000 ARB) SolidGrant, built on the Allo Protocol within the Arbitrum network, presents a functional and straightforward DAO dapp. Its core features include proposal submissions and voting, treasury management, and tracking community activities. The ability to register recipients and distribute funds is a useful addition but doesn’t particularly stand out in the crowded DAO tool space. Overall, Solidgrant offers a competent, if not exceptional, user experience for those looking to engage in decentralized governance.
  • First Place (5000 ARB) Alloliance streamlines web3 KYC processes for grant seekers with a comprehensive tech stack including PostgreSQL, Prisma, TypeScript, React, Solidity, Fastify, and IPFS. It introduces the Allo Profile Metadata Standard for secure, standardized grant application credentials. The user experience is efficient, allowing KYC submissions with various ID forms and integrating third-party verification. Results are securely hashed and stored on IPFS. Future roadmap plans include expanding third-party KYC integrations, adding email notifications for submission statuses, and deploying on Arbitrum One. Alloliance represents a secure and user-friendly solution in the web3 compliance space.

:partying_face: Personal Favorite :partying_face:

Alloliance emerged as one of my personal favorites in the web3 compliance sector. Its adept handling of KYC processes for grant seekers is particularly impressive. The protocol’s robust tech stack lays a solid foundation for reliability and efficiency. The introduction of the Allo Profile Metadata Standard is a game-changer, ensuring secure and standardized KYC documentation for grant applications. What I find most commendable is the user-friendly approach to KYC submissions, allowing various ID forms and leveraging third-party verification for authenticity. The secure storage of results on IPFS further enhances trust in the system. Looking ahead, the roadmap promises exciting developments like expanded third-party integrations, email notifications, and deployment on Arbitrum One, suggesting a bright future for the platform. Overall, Alloliance’s mix of security, user convenience, and forward-looking features make it a standout choice in my web3 toolkit.

Key Milestones:

  1. 303 Participants :family_man_woman_girl_boy:
  2. 86 Projects Submitted :package:
  3. 40K ARB tokens up for grabs (from 40K USD :fire:)

1. Challenges and Solutions

Many of the technical challenges encountered were linked to the learning curve faced by new developers. It was noteworthy that the teams with completed projects and top submissions navigated these challenges smoothly, showcasing their adeptness with Allo’s documentation and setup process. Recognizing that Allo is an advanced allocation and funding protocol, it’s understandable that beginners may face hurdles. This not only highlights the protocol’s complexity but also underscores the impressive learning journey of all participants.

2. Feedback and Learning (GPT from Discord chat)

Let’s talk about our participant feedback. Discord was our main channel for communitcation, which I was comfortable with and seemed the participants were active there. One of the challenges with Discord is when more than a few members DM you instead of posting on a public channel for everyone to see and support if capable. I can’t stress enough how important it is to post in public when working in public. Too many times have DM’s gone on too long when the issue(s) should have been brought to the attention of the applicable team (or in public).

There were some doubts from a couple of our participants about the objectivity of the judges, with some projects allegedly receiving high scores despite not meeting key criteria. Buidlbox representatives have responded, apologizing for the situation and indicating that they are looking into the matter. They clarify their role in the judging process and promise to discuss the concerns raised and provide updates and the community is actively discussing the issue, with some expressing disappointment and frustration. The BuidlBox team will consider suggestions for improving future hackathons to avoid similar issues.

3. Developer Experience

It became evident that the developer experience encountered certain setbacks, partly due to the Allo team’s limited availability over the December holiday period. In future planning, it’s essential to account for global holidays to avoid such scheduling conflicts during events like hackathons. Additionally, the enhancement of available resources is crucial. This includes not only a broader range of video content showcasing Allo’s functionalities and its diverse applications but also an improvement in our general documentation. More comprehensive SDK documentation, enriched with practical examples, and an expanded suite of video tutorials would greatly benefit our users.

4. Impact on Blockchain Community

The hackathon served as a dynamic convergence point for experts and enthusiasts keen on exploring and advancing blockchain technology. A notable success of the event was its substantial contribution to the Allo Protocol, particularly in the context of funding public goods. Teams engaged in a deep dive into Allo’s intricacies, aiming to harness its potential for improved efficiency and scalability in blockchain projects. This joint effort led to the birth of innovative concepts, fostering new ways to utilize the blockchain in supporting social and public causes. These collective explorations and contributions resulted in tangible advancements, offering significant benefits to the wider public goods sector.

The outcomes of the hackathon, including the developed ideas and prototypes, are set to make a lasting impact. Their influence extends beyond providing immediate solutions, as they fuel ongoing dialogues and inspire new projects within the realm of public goods. The advancements made to the Allo Protocol, in particular, have opened up fresh perspectives on how to fund and support public initiatives, merging technological innovation with a commitment to social welfare. This event transcended the bounds of mere technological advancement; it marked a significant leap towards future developments in the public goods arena. By nurturing innovative approaches to both Arbitrum and Allo, the hackathon made a meaningful contribution not just to the participants and immediate stakeholders, but also to communities funding public goods.

5. Acknowledgments

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to our hackathon’s success :partying_face:. Immense gratitude goes to our dedicated team, whose hard work and creativity were instrumental in orchestrating the event. To all the participants, your innovative spirit and enthusiasm were the heart of the hackathon, bringing invaluable ideas and energy. A special thanks to our sponsors for their generous support and commitment to innovation, making this event possible. Lastly, our appreciation extends to mentors, judges, and volunteers for their expertise and guidance. Together, we created a memorable and successful event, and I look forward to more collaborative and innovative endeavors in the future! :tada: :partying_face:


So fun to run the event together with you guys!

We saw some record breaking engagement, so cool to see!

Kudos to everyone from Plurality Labs, Allo and Arbitrum that worked so hard to make the event a success.