Cosmos’ Cross-Chain Hackathon: Connecting Chains with IBC

Heyo, Gitcoiners! If you are like some of our team members at Gitcoin and your childhood dreams included becoming an astronaut, we’ve got the next best thing lined up for you: the Cosmos led hackathon!

Between start dates April 20 – May 11 you’re invited to join the stellar crew of our Cross-Chain Hackathon and build bold new projects across blockchain frontiers!

Cross-Chain is a 3-week virtual hackathon where we’ll challenge you to expand open-source collaboration across blockchain ecosystems. As leaders of cross-chain interoperability solutions, the Cosmos team and partners have launched a series of bounties for you to create decentralized applications and tools that move value and data trustlessly within and between chains. Check out the bounties here on the prize explorer!

What is Cosmos Anyway?

Cosmos is a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by BFT consensus algorithms like Tendermint consensus.

In other words, Cosmos is an ecosystem of blockchains that can scale and interoperate with each other. Before Cosmos, blockchains were siloed and unable to communicate with each other. They were hard to build and could only handle a small number of transactions per second. Cosmos approaches these problems with a new technical vision to solve issues around scalability, usability, and sovereignty.

The vision of Cosmos is to make it easy for developers to build blockchains and break the barriers between blockchains by allowing them to transact with each other. The end goal is to create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way. With Cosmos, blockchains can maintain sovereignty, process transactions quickly and communicate with other blockchains in the ecosystem, making it optimal for a variety of use cases.

This vision is achieved through a set of open-source tools like Tendermint, the Cosmos SDK and IBC designed to let people build custom, secure, scalable and interoperable blockchain applications quickly. The connection between blockchains is achieved with the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). IBC leverages the instant finality property of Tendermint consensus (although it can work with any “fast-finality” blockchain engine) to allow heterogeneous chains to transfer value (i.e. tokens) or data to each other.  The cross chain vision of the Cosmos network is further bolstered by tools such as Ethermint, which is an implementation of the EVM on top of Tendermint consensus, as well as Peggy, a two-way peg between Ethereum and the Cosmos network. Such projects are designed to further the goal of interoperability between networks.  

Note that Cosmos is an open-source community project initially built by Tendermint Inc. Everyone is welcome to build additional tools to enrich the greater developer ecosystem!

As seen throughout history and, more clearly, in recent events, unifying resources and communities make all of us stronger. Starting in 2014, the Cosmos team developed a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by BFT consensus algorithms like Tendermint. There are now more than 100 blockchain projects developed in the Cosmos ecosystem and are well on their way to becoming the “Internet of Blockchains”.

Cosmos Hackathon Prizes

All coders joining the Cross-Chain Hackathon will see the Cosmos prize with $15,000 of ATOMs up for grabs. They’ll be competing for a star in the open-source galaxy of fame, as they build real-world applications based on Cosmos SDK. Cosmos SDK is a modular blockchain framework with built-in modules so you can plug and play whatever functionality you desire. Core modules currently include IBC, staking, slashing, and more to enable developers to build secure layer 1 decentralized applications.

The bounty is fairly straightforward and open-ended, leaving hackers with plenty of room for creativity!

Utilize The Cosmos Toolkit – IBC, Ethermint, Peggy & More:
In this challenge, we’d like to see what you can build with the Cosmos toolkit. You can use the Cosmos SDK & IBC to solve a real world problem or build with Ethermint, Peggy, and CosmWasm. DeFi (decentralized finance) and NFT’s (Non-fungible tokens) are two interesting areas but you’re not limited to these! Get creative and show us what you can build!

Submissions must be open source, use the Cosmos SDK and IBC protocol, must do something that is useful and interesting, and a working demo is highly preferred. Leaving tons of opportunity to get creative and fancy! If you have been dreaming of a side project for some time, consider using Cosmos and building with its stack for this hackathon. Submissions will be judged by:

  • How likely is the application to be used by others
  • Business use case; usefulness
  • Originality
  • The potential positive impact for the Cosmos ecosystem; community public good value
  • Technicality

First place gets $6k, second place gets $5k, third place gets $4k, paid in ATOMs. The price of the ATOM will be taken on the last day of the hackathon at the closing price reflected on Coin Market Cap.

To learn more about Cosmos, their partners, and the event prizes, check out their hackathon announcement blog post. You also may find their new blog post useful, a Guide to Building DeFi using Band Protocol Oracle and Cosmos IBC.

Interact with Cosmos and learn more by joining the Cosmos tribe on Gitcoin, and exploring their Gitcoin Quest: Connecting Chains with Cosmos. Join the Gitcoin Chat Cross-Chain channel and check out the Cross-Chain Town Square to interact and possibly team up with fellow hackers!

Here is a list of additional resources:

Finally, we’ll also be hosting a multitude of workshops and webinars with sponsors – check them out below or see the updated list on the onboarding page!

  • April 21st – Agoric workshop at 4pm EST
  • April 22nd – Agoric office hours at 12pm EST
  • April 22nd – Band Protocol Workshop at 8pm EST
  • April 24th – IBC workshop at 10am EST
  • April 24th – Cosmos Q/A at 11am EST
  • April 29th – Agoric office hours at 12pm EST
  • April 29th – Band Protocol office hours at 9pm EST
  • May 1st – Cosmos Q/A at 11am EST
  • May 6th – Agoric office hours at 12pm EST
  • May 6th – Band Protocol office hours at 9pm EST
  • May 8th – Cosmos Q/A at 11am EST

Stay home but keep coding for a better world. This year is one of change and we hope the open-source community is a primary driver of positive change. So join us for the Cross-Chain hackathon – let’s buidl projects, win prizes, meet fellow hackers, attend workshops from leading experts, and more as we build together toward a unified blockchain future!