In the past few months, we’ve seen the importance of having privacy-enabling technology. From the Tornado Cash sanctions to FTX flagging Aztec as a “high risk” service, we’re in a new dawn of what privacy means when faced with regulation.
We must defend our own privacy if we expect to have any. We must come together and create systems which allow anonymous transactions to take place. People have been defending their own privacy for centuries with whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, secret handshakes, and couriers. The technologies of the past did not allow for strong privacy, but electronic technologies do."
Eric Hughes: A Cypherpunk's Manifesto.
At ETHBerlin the name of the game was privacy, security, and data sovereignty. The hackathon emphasized four tracks:
- Counter-Surveillance: Security and privacy-enhancing projects.
- Freedom to Transact: Financial independence from institutions.
- Even the Odds: Empowering the underprivileged.
- Infrastructure: Providing distributed public goods.
Some project highlights:
Best UX Prize: deathProtector1.5.1
”The Dead Man's Switch is used to store sensitive information about a politician that acts as your life insurance. deathProtector1.5.1 is the first fully decentralized Dead Man's Switch that runs entirely trustless without any web2 or centralized intermediaries. If deathProtector would've existed a year ago, maybe McAffee would still be alive.
A Dead Man's Switch is for humans that need protection from powerful, evil organizations. This can be:
- Politically exposed humans
- John McAffee
We believe that a truly decentralized Dead Man's Switch that can be created and used by anyone for almost no cost levels the playing field of humans around the globe.”
dandelion++ for validator privacy
Built with Go libp2p.
“Dandelion++ is an anonymity-preserving gossip algorithm, originally designed for the Bitcoin mempool…it de-links a node's IP (network identity) from their application (on-chain) identity, it helps mitigate DOS attacks and censorship with regards to block production and attestations. Similarly, it can be used for a transaction mempool to private privacy regarding where a transaction originated from.”
Main Prize, Open Track: rsociety
A fun project that incorporates social engineering and smart contracts. The project was contingent on the group winning the open prize in order to distribute the prize money.
”Upon securing the majority vote, the rsociety.eth smart contract will be receiving the prize money on Optimism. ETHBerlin has published a list of all public addresses for the 1,000 EtherCards which make up to our allow-list. To claim to money you simply connect your wallet to the Optimism Network and click the “Claim your share” button on this page. Sign the transaction, voila, and the money is yours.”
The rsociety team engaged with fellow attendees in a fun way and brought some refreshing IRL guerilla marketing to the hackathon. The WAGMI spirit was alive; the important part was showing up and participating.
Built with the Dune API.
”Advocating for crypto security & privacy education through data transparency tool.” ”We strongly believe that Tornado Cash is used by good actors and we want to help showcase what you shouldn't do if privacy is your concern.”
~Vibes of ETHBERLIN~
ETHBerlin closed Blockchain Week in Berlin. Many folks settled in earlier in the week to attend various events and conferences, while looking forward to closing out their time in Berlin by hacking away. It also doesn’t hurt the hackathon began the day after the long-anticipated Ethereum merge.
The hackathon attendees comprised of developers who build core projects in the space, serial web3 hackers, and many original fans who have been around to see the first CryptoPunks. Some hackers were just at ETHWarsaw and made their way over to Berlin, ready to continue building new ideas and meeting developers; eager to create companies through what they built that weekend.
In a closing event, Chelsea Manning talked about the importance of privacy preserving technology. This drove home the narrative that we need privacy more than ever, and the best day to start building is today:
Even in crypto winter, the spirits were high and the creativity was unmatched.
Join the discussion:
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