What we learned from our first Enterprise Ethereum Hackathon

DISCLAIMER: As of September 2019, Pantheon has been renamed to Hyperledger Besu. In posts prior to September 2019, we refer to the Ethereum client as Pantheon.

A Recap from PegaSys in Prague

A few weeks ago at Devcon, we released Pantheon, our new Ethereum client written in Java with an Apache 2.0 license.

To celebrate the release of Pantheon Core, we ran our first hackathon, in Prague, and invited builders from the Ethereum and Java community to participate. We were joined by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Microsoft and B9lab as sponsors. We were very pleased to see some of the first tooling (monitoring, integrations) and use cases (including international payments with Adhara) being built and working on Pantheon!

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Pantheon is public chain compatible, with a more modular architecture and roadmap to add privacy, permissioning and new consensus algorithms. We chose Java due to its appeal to enterprises, large open-source community, and mature ecosystem.

The hackathon had over 60 attendees from across the community - from solo hackers and entrepreneurs to small teams of enterprise software developers. We were blown away by the quality of ideas, engagement with our product and vision for Enterprise-grade Ethereum infrastructure and tooling. Thanks to everyone who participated or came along to support!


While we’d like to congratulate all participating teams for their hard work and contributions, a few standout projects were awarded prizes by our judges.

Third Place: Team MESG with a tool for API Monetization

The subscription plan is the king of revenue streams but we are starting to see more and more services offering on-demand pricing (e.g. AWS). On-demand pricing systems are more complicated to create and require providers to trust users will pay at the end of the month as traditional payment rails are too costly to support micropayments. Team MESG built a proof of concept (PoC) using cryptocurrency to enable micropayments for on-demand services.

What it does
This Proof of Concept enables providers of Web2 services to monetize their API by providing a web3 API through a Smart Contract.

The team created a demo that consumes SendGrid API to send email in exchange of 0.000000000001 ETH. The smart contract is deployed on Kovan.

GitHub Repo

Second Place: Team Argus Panoptes with a GUI for Pantheon nodes and networks

Team Argus Panoptes built a super useful interface for Pantheon node management which was both well executed and impressive as a demo. Congratulations!

What it does
Launches a Pantheon node server from the latest available docker image and provides a front-end interface for node operators to monitor the health and status of their node. This allows operators to see the network their node is running on, the latest block, the latest gas price and whether their node is connected and listening to the network.

GitHub Repo

First Place: Team Lizard with Pantheon RPC support in the web3j library

Team Lizard asked great questions and took full advantage of face time with one of our mentors, Conor Svensson- the creator of web3j. Thanks to the team for their excellent contribution to the Java Ethereum community!

RPC communication is not standardized among Ethereum clients. The lack of standardization necessitates a specific implementation of RPC communication in libraries.

What it does
It provides an interface in web3j library to access Pantheon specific RPC calls.

Github Repo
...and see their PR to the main web3j library here

BONUS: Mentor Prize

With so many experienced mentors on hand to support the hackathon and eager to hack on some of their own weekend projects, we had our judges vote on the best mentored team. It proved so difficult to choose one individual that we ended up with two winners!

Joint Winner: Peter Broadhurst, Kaleido - Pantheon on Kaleido

In less than 24 hours, Peter managed to develop a proof of concept which includes Pantheon in the Kaleido environment setup. This awesome tool allows you to setup a private ethereum blockchain using a number of Pantheon nodes and the Proof-of-Authority consensus mechanism. Watch the video to see it in action!

Joint Winner: Coenie Beyers, Ryno Beyers and Jason Smythe, Adhara - Adhara on Pantheon

The Adhara team over the weekend swapped in Pantheon as the underlying client on their platform. Using the alpha release of Pantheon they demoed a simple use case of international payments between two financial institutions, swapping from local fiat to a crypto token on the fly, transferring the funds across, and converting back to fiat, to create a timely & cost effective international payment solution.

On to the next one!

After an exhausting week at Devcon, it was awesome to see so many enthusiastic and engaged teams attend the weekend ready to hack. While we didn’t manage to cover all the projects here, we truly appreciate everyone’s participation and the invaluable opportunity to work on Pantheon and support Enterprise Ethereum alongside you all.

You’ll definitely find us participating at other hackathons and hosting many more events in the future - we’re excited about supporting this ecosystem and the community we can create together. Until next time.

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