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Sign up for the Supernova Hackathon: $6M in prizes & funding

Web3 is transforming the internet, and will provide extraordinary opportunities to developers and entrepreneurs. The Internet Computer blockchain’s global Supernova hackathon welcomes developers and entrepreneurs to start building using the most advanced Web3 platform in existence today, while winning large prizes, grants, and seed investments in the process. A host of impressive dapps and services have already been deployed on the Internet Computer, including the social platforms DSCVR and Distrikt, the instant-messaging dapp OpenChat, and the automated market maker InfinitySwap.

Supernova participants can play a key role in building out a new open web in which social media and other services are directly owned, run, and updated by DAO-based communities. In this brave new world, social media and online games will blend with DeFi functionality to become SocialFi and GameFi, combined together to support a growing Web3 ecosystem and decentralized metaverse. Supernova includes six categories: SocialFi, GameFi, metaverse and NFTs, asynchronous DeFi, public good/social impact, and an open-ended “blue sky” track.

Submissions will be accepted until June 20, 11:45 PM Pacific Time. Learn everything you need to know about Supernova on the DevPost.

Supernova kicked off on May 10 with an event featuring talks and presentations with Polychain Capital founder and CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee, Messari co-founder and CEO Ryan Selkis, Tom Serres of Warburg Serres, Maria Shen of Electric Capital, Lucas Liu of Huobi Incubator, and many more. As Selkis remarked at the kickoff, to understand the emerging future and where you can fit into it, “there’s no substitute for building within the space.”

“There’s a social graph now being drawn in crypto that no one is capturing,” added Shen, based on ownership. “That’s where the opportunity is: something so fundamentally new and Web3 native, and really breaks from the mold of how we’ve been thinking about social up until now.”

Launched last May 2021, the Internet Computer is a new kind of blockchain that was developed by the DFINITY Foundation with one of the best R&D teams in tech. Beginning in 2016, DFINITY started developing a new distributed computing architecture that is powered by novel Chain Key cryptography. The result is a revolutionary blockchain that can host mass-market, hyperscale Web3 apps and services, with all of their data and computation on-chain. Truly decentralized online services can be built using advanced smart contract code written in programming languages such as Rust and Motoko (a native language that can be quickly learned by any Solidity or JavaScript programmer) that compile to WebAssembly.

“The Chain Key cryptography that powers the Internet Computer is being surfaced through APIs that are going to allow you to control token balances and invoke code on other blockchains directly, without any bridges,” explained DFINITY founder and chief scientist Dominic Williams at the Supernova kickoff. “This is completely game-changing, and it’s going to allow you to combine different blockchains together and to create a kind of meta glue that enables you to, for example, create a DEX on the Internet Computer that allows you to trade ICP [utility tokens] for Bitcoin in which the Bitcoin is just sent to an address that belongs to the DEX on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

This ability to support secure cross-chain infrastructure has implications for the broader blockchain ecosystem.

“The Internet Computer is not just for ICP,” noted InfinitySwap CEO Max Chamberlin at the kickoff. “It’s not just for the tokens native to the chain. I think it’s going to be the hub that’s going to connect all the other coins on other chains, and you’ll have liquidity coming from all other places. So right now is a great time to build.”

Tom Serres of Warburg Serres pointed to the value of securing frontends and user interfaces for DeFi protocols by taking them off centralized cloud providers and bringing them on-chain — just one of the benefits of being able to host the entire application on the Internet Computer.

“You see a lot of these man-in-the-middle attacks that are going after the client interface. Happens every day — hundreds of millions of crypto being lost,” said Serres. “You can now secure the entire application right on the IC. And that’s a really powerful idea, especially when you start scaling DeFi into hundreds of billions in value. You’re going to need to find ways to secure that client interface.”

“It’s taking this beyond DeFi and moving to applications where not only the underlying financial logic is embedded inside blockchains, but also the consumer interface,” added Olaf Carson-Wee. “All of the web interfaces that interact with those DeFi protocols are still hosted on centralized servers. So when you want to go interact with a popular DeFi protocol, the actual interface you’re using as an average consumer is not decentralized or tamper-proof. And it’s not resilient in the way that the underlying DeFi protocol’s financial logic is resilient.”

On the Internet Computer, smart contracts can serve interactive web experiences directly to end users, and can store and process data with greater efficiency and at lower cost than other blockchains. This allows developers to create systems, dapps, and decentralized services that run entirely on the blockchain. Using the Internet Computer, you can build truly decentralized dapps and services with end-to-end security, while leveraging advanced tokenization strategies to fundraise and drive viral growth.

This is the vision behind Supernova, marking the explosive growth of the Internet Computer ecosystem just a year after launch, and setting the stage for an expansion that will shape the future of Web3.