Solana Labs Riptide Hackathon to Dole Out $5M in Prizes, Seed Funding

In brief

Riptide is Solana Labs’ 5th global hackathon.
With the hackathon, Solana is looking to onboard new developers into its ecosystem.

Surf’s up! Just in time for the return of the blockchain conference season, Solana Labs announced today the latest iteration in its series of hackathons, Riptide. The global hackathon will bring developers worldwide to compete for $5 million in prizes and seed funding.

“Solana hackathons are great opportunities for the community to come together and learn about the technology while experimenting with building projects that could have a real impact on the growth of the Solana ecosystem,” Solana Labs head of growth Matty Taylor tells Decrypt.

Taylor says the blockchain competition will have five tracks: payments, DeFi, Web3, gaming, and DAOs, with each first-place winner receiving $50,000. The grand prize is $65,000 worth of USDC stablecoin, three passes to an upcoming Solana conference, and the chance to present the winning project to the Solana community.

The hackathon will run from February 2 to March 17 to coincide with the inaugural Solana Hacker House World Tour. Taylor says the event is, first and foremost, an online hackathon.

“Anyone with an internet connection can participate,” he said. “However, if hackers want to meet others in-person and work together/form teams, we have hacker houses running in several cities across the world.”

The global “hacker houses” will be communal working space where devs can work on projects and interact with like-minded people. The first Solana Labs hacker house is located in Los Angeles, and it plans to open locations in Seattle, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Prague.

Sometimes called an “Ethereum killer,” Solana was created in 2017 during the ICO boom and raised more than $25 million across various private and public sale rounds before going live in March 2020. Since then, Solana has garnered a large following in the DeFi and NFT space; marketplaces Magic Eden and Solanart have brought in a combined $1.1 billion in non-fungible token sales since launch, according to DappRadar.com.

Interest in Solana hackathons saw over 6,000 participants and 568 projects in the last event, called Ignition.

“The web3 community needs to continue educating folks currently working in web2, traditional finance, academia, and other industries about how public blockchains can improve the global economy, and I believe hackathons serve a critical role in this effort,” Taylor said.

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