Waterloo Weekend: PegaSys Looks Back at ETHWaterloo 2019

Welcome to ETHWaterloo!

Last weekend, the PegaSys team attended ETHWaterloo, a 3-day hackathon located where the very first Ethereum hackathon had taken place back in 2017. From Friday evening through Sunday, attendees hacked on Ethereum, competing for over $100,000 in prizes!

One of those prizes was a 1,000 DAI bounty by PegaSys for the best mainnet enterprise use case of Hyperledger Besu. Spoiler alert: we were quite impressed by the winning team!

Vitalik Buterin keynote speech at ETHWaterloo 2019

The weekend was also packed with workshops and talks, from technical demonstrations of the latest APIs to a keynote on cryptoeconomics given by Vitalik in a whisky-distillery-turned-tech-office.

But, while the talks and workshops were fascinating, what the teams put together over the course of the weekend was the most impressive part of the event. All in all, 65 projects were submitted! One let you manage Ethereum tokens via Google Sheets, another provided a spam call filter running on Ethereum, and one more let you run Hyperledger Besu, deploy a contract on it and send transactions with one command!

Hyperledger Besu Generators, which, yes, won our 1,000 DAI bounty, offered users a fast and simple way to get started on Hyperledger Besu. Using either Maven or Appsody, the project would download the latest version of Besu via Docker, build the client locally, and deploy a test smart contract on a local network. Once the contract was up, a test transaction was sent to confirm that everything worked correctly. The simple interface, configuration file, and smart contract made it easy for anyone to test-drive Besu and experiment with the client. For example, the final Java configuration file had less than 50 lines of code, and the Solidity smart contract stood firm at 20. Also, the entire thing ran in about one minute from start to finish!

It was exciting to see so much built on Ethereum over such a short amount of time, and we are very excited to do this again in February during ETHDenver. Until then, we’ll be playing with Hyperledger Besu Generators and planning our next bounties. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our mailing list to keep up to date on what those may be!

Ready to get started with Hyperledger Besu now? Check out our docs site and give some good first issues a try.

PegaSys is a thought leader in the Enterprise Ethereum space. Want to join the team? Check out our list of open roles.