A Blockchain Hackathon could be your solution to a variety of problems. Hackathons can result in new technologies like crypto mining applications, brand awareness, networking, community growth, and talented individuals matched to exciting career paths.
Blockchain hackathons can result in benefits for everyone from the individual to the organization and into society.
What is a Blockchain Hackathon?
Blockchain hackathons are a theme hackathon event focused on blockchain technology.
It is a misconception that blockchain technology is just for NFT’s and cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology currently operates in:
- Voting systems
- Secure transmission of medical data
- Music royalties for digital work
- Cross-border payments
- Personal identity security
- Money-laundering prevention technology
- Supply chain and logistic monitoring
- Content source verification
- Real estate processing
A blockchain hackathon can explore a range of fields and human needs. It can last as long as you’d like and varies depending on the challenge. Predetermined judges typically determine the winner based upon the demo or proof of concept provided.
With such a range of blockchain hackathon theme possibilities, it may feel like a daunting task to organize. In reality, blockchain hackathons are fun events that people enjoy participating in, especially for prizes. It can be work, but hackathon.com is here to help guide you.
Benefits of Hosting a Blockchain/Crypto Hackathon
A lot of potential benefits come with hosting a blockchain or cryptocurrency hackathon. Hackathons have produced new apps and technologies that benefit the population without that being the intention.
The benefits of your blockchain hackathon will depend on the blockchain technology you are looking to explore.
1. Finding New Solutions for Mining Cryptocurrency
Creating new decentralized applications (dapps) during an Ethereum hackathon is a common goal for cryptocurrency-related blockchain hackathons. There are Bitcoin hackathons that focus on developing peer-to-peer applications designed to mine Bitcoin efficiently.
2. Generate Interest in a Specific Cryptocurrency or Blockchain Resource
If you advocate for a specific cryptocurrency or blockchain resource, throwing a hackathon is a great way to generate interest in others. Getting new people comfortable with your technology or style can increase your numbers.
3. Raise Name or Brand Awareness
A brand can sponsor or throw a hackathon to raise brand awareness and market for their cause. Software companies can throw hackathons to get their programs into the hands of developers and industry professionals.
4. Build Community and Foster Teamwork
A business can throw an internal hackathon to encourage teamwork and fresh ideas from existing staff. A hackathon open to the public can create dialogue and valuable relationships with influential community members.
5. Empower the Next Generation of Problem Solvers
Hackathons are opportunities for the next generation of problem solvers to get their feet wet in new technology and ideas. Having mentors and seasoned professionals work on the same problems and provide feedback can encourage new developers or designers to make their way. These people might become your new peer or business partner.
6. Train People and Employees
Hackathons are great ways to train people on new technologies or to work together. Time-managed problem-solving can train people in their interpersonal skills while they learn new technologies in the process.
7. Chase Bounties and Reap Rewards
Blockchain hackathons can come with a wide variety of rewards. Hackathons may mine cryptocurrency or produce an app that mines for a bounty reward. Other prizes have included job offers and different types of legal tender.
8. Recruit New Talent
New talent can reveal itself at a hackathon, and talented people can connect with a purpose. People can get a taste of your organization’s style while you get a feel for their code and skillset.
9. Generate Buy-In from Influential Community Members
New ideas can fail if the community doesn’t connect with them or see the pillars of the community using that technology or method. Hackathons are a chance for influencers to get a first-hand look at blockchain technology and ultimately get their buy-in and support.
10. Develop Disruptive Services
Disruptive innovations can change how we all live or do business. If you seek to solve a problem for humanity or create an app that provides a free service to all, hackathons can be your vessel. Disruptive services can apply internally for any business services, too - find a better solution to your company or personal goals.
How to Run a Hackathon on Blockchain Tech: A Full 6-Step Guide
Blockchain hackathons get distilled into six easy steps with the assistance of subtasks.
1. Choose Your Objective(s)
If your hackathon is without an objective, then your project has no purpose. Define your goals using these topic areas:
- Hackathon Purpose
- Theme (Example: Bitcoin Hackathon)
- Target Audience
Blockchain hackathons can cover a lot of different projects, but not every project makes a good hackathon event. Identify your target audience and choose an objective that participants would be interested in and able to complete.
2. Design the Challenge(s)
Once you have a purpose for the hackathon, you can design the challenge itself.
Identify the Problem to Solve
Are you developing blockchain networks, smart contracts, or using an API to create dapps that decentralize weather forecasts for farmers? Whatever it is, you need to define what problem you are looking to solve.
Establish the Parameters and Rules for Project Completion
Clear guidelines help participants understand what to do.
- How to Participate
- Establish the Minimum Skill Set Suggested
- Establish the System or Software Used
- Time Limits
- Team Sizes
- Submission Method
- Judging Criteria
- Training to Offer
Mentor and Participant Guides
Mentorship can play an essential part in guiding participants through the challenge, especially if your goal is to find new talent. Having designated mentors or participant guides through the process will ensure that anyone with questions knows where to go for answers or support through the project itself.
If your hackathon is not big enough to offer mentorship or the purpose is to explore new technology, establishing a lead contact can be critical in a quality hackathon.
3. Plan the Event
Once you’ve established what the event will be centered around, you can start to plan the details.
Pick the Format or Setting
The first detail should be whether the event will be a virtual hackathon or in person. Whether hosting it alone or utilizing a hackathon organization, the format has to fit the challenge.
Set an Attendee Minimum or Limit
Understand the number of attendees you are willing to manage. It is rare to have 100% of attendees sign up to show, so remember to give yourself some buffer to account for those who do not.
Outline the Hackathon Terms and Conditions
Defining the terms and conditions of the event for attendees and participants will make the user experience smoother and more enjoyable for your guests. The fewer questions attendees have to ask, the better prepared you will appear.
Create A List of Required Materials for Participating
A simple checklist of the materials needed for your hackathon will ensure your attendees are prepared and ready to participate.
Determine if Any Need for Speakers or Presenters
Some hackathon events benefit from attendance numbers from a keynote speaker or presentations from specialists in the field. These additional elements are not required, but it is always wise to plan some form of address at the start and conclusion of the event.
Create a Schedule
Once you’ve established if you want to include any speakers or presentations, you can create your schedule. Be sure to:
- Select Dates and Times of the Event
- Registration Start and Cutoff Dates
Organize Your Tasks
Events go much smoother if you organize your tasks and communications:
- Assign Tasks with Due Dates
- Create a Single Contact Email
- Establish a Document Management System
- Pick a Registration Management Method
- Establish Mailing Lists for Communications
Seek Out and Confirm People
Depending on your event, it can take some people to make it happen. Seek out people and get them confirmed through contracts or emails. These people include:
- Keynote Speakers
- Sponsors and Partners
- Mentors and Participant Support
Choose Prizes, Awards, and Swag
If you plan to award any prizes or give away swag, make sure to select products that participants would use or that promote your brand or event. Water bottles and mugs are used by all and are one-size-fits-all.
Compile Resources and Trainings
Keep a running list of resources and training you have or want to share with participants and attendees.
4. Build a Website
The event website is an integral part of the blockchain hackathon. It is where you promote, register, coordinate, and communicate everything about your hackathon. Be sure to include:
- Blockchain Hackathon Participation Details
- Schedule of Events
- Resources and Training Materials
- Sponsors and Partners
- A Blog with Fresh Posts
Your website doesn’t need to be anything flashy, but having all of the information a participant needs in one place will increase user engagement.
5. Promote Your Event
People do not automatically show up for your event - you have to market and promote it. There are several ways to do event promotion:
- Invite People Directly
- Advertise on Social Media
- Offer Free Trainings and Demos Before
- Send Promo Gear to Influences in the Trade
- Save the Date Campaigns
- Reminder Emails
People are also forgetful, so integrating a link to add the event to their calendar can be helpful.
6. Make it Enjoyable and Worth the Time
To make an event enjoyable and worth the participants’ time, there has to be value in it. Value comes in more than a prize or reward, although that helps encourage attendance and participation. To make an event valuable, participants need to feel like they are leaving with more than they gave.
If you plan to give swag as a reward or thank you to judges or participants, make sure they want to use it.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Organizing Blockchain Hackathons
First-time organizers of blockchain hackathons are known to make some preventable mistakes. After a few hackathons, people learn these tips independently, but take advantage of our experience and avoid these mistakes for your next event:
Mistake 1. Failing to Market Ahead and Invite Potential Participants
People often create an event and expect people to show up magically or because they made a website about it.
Fix: Promote your event where you can.
Promotion doesn’t have to be fancy and can be in the form of a simple email or phone call. Let people know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.
Mistake 2. Not Capturing or Sharing Pictures or Video
Pictures and videos convey what the event was like to future participants and give credibility to your brand.
Fix: Take pictures, record your screen, and screenshot what you can.
It doesn’t matter if it is a virtual hackathon, you can still ask people to take pictures, and the organizers can record the screens for presentations to be shared later.
Mistake 3. Not Planning Time to Network and Socialize
Part of what makes hackathons valuable is the networking and socialization that breeds innovation and ideas.
Fix: Schedule in time to socialize or establish a discord server.
If you cannot have an event to network, try using a discord server for communication amongst participants.
Mistake 4. No Feedback Opportunities
Feedback for both the event and the participants can create even better hackathons in the future.
Fix: Set up a survey for after the event, before the event starts.
Establishing an exit survey before the event starts will prevent you from forgetting about it and allow you only to have to make tiny edits before making it available to participants. Feedback is vital to improving your future events.
Blockchain Hackathon Ideas
If you don’t have a specific project but are looking to expand your experience or portfolio into the world of blockchains, check out our review of blockchain ideas for hackathons.
Whether you want to take up a social justice project or make some money mining cryptocurrency in a blockchain ecosystem, the possibilities are only as limited as what your mind can create.
Looking for a Good Hackathon Platform to Organize Your Blockchain Hackathon? Try Hackathon.com
Hackathon.com can simplify your next hackathon through its online platform and managed services. Save yourself some energy and manage some or all of your next event, online or in person, through Hackathon.com.
Hackathons are a great opportunity to expand your network and give back to your community. If blockchains play a part in your business, why not host a blockchain hackathon to help your employees and the public learn more about what you do. Using platforms like Hackathon.com can turn a long list into solutions for your virtual hackathon adventures.