Outlier Ventures and Imperial College Hackathon: Blockchain, Smart Contracts & Token Economy

ChainHack24 brought together the 50 brightest minds from Imperial College Computing, Maths, Biomedical and Chemistry departments, sponsored by Outlier Ventures and Blockchain.com. The two day event focused on building smart contract applications using OrbitDB, Sovrin, Ocean Protocol and Ethereum. With a prize pool of over £4k in cash and crypto for the best projects for Identity, Intelligence, Privacy and Incentives.


Mentors included our OV Labs teach team represented by Theo Turner and Aron van Ammers, along with senior technology experts Mike Lodder from Sovrin and Manan Patel from Ocean. As well as the Imperial College London Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE), with whom Outlier Ventures has a three year research partnership.

ChainHack teams hard at work


Aron van Ammers, the Outlier Ventures CTO, worked directly with the teams. “It’s a great pleasure to see students from around the world and from different departments at Imperial building a variety of use cases on and inspired by Outlier portfolio technologies OrbitDB, Sovrin and Ocean. We saw projects within financial services, universal ID, social networking, marketplaces and medical data sharing. This is a great demonstration of Outlier Ventures’ goal to offer world class technology support to our portfolio teams, from advisory and putting portfolio technology to the test within OV Labs, to attracting great developers and enterprise partners. We are thrilled to see what the 8  teams have achieved in such a short period of time.”


Dominik Harz, research assistant at the Imperial College London Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering, said “We’ve been working alongside Outlier Ventures and the Convergence portfolio for nearly two years, with Masters and PhD students working on projects from Sovrin, Ocean, OrbitDB and the wider OV portfolio. It was brilliant to see students from all levels learn to use DLT frameworks and build in real time. The development of Web3.0 will need top talent such as our students, and through this event we hope to connect students to new innovative projects.”

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The OV Labs Team, Ocean Protocol and Imperial student from team Slark: a marketplace for white hat hackers


We’re very proud to present the winning teams and projects below.


First Prize: OrDex, a decentralised orderbook on OrbitDB


OrDex created an orderbook built on OrbitDB, also taking home the prize for the Intelligence challenge; a team of three made up of PhD students and Masters in Computing Science. Written in Python, JavaScript and Solidity and using a Qt frontend, OrDex makes use of the Web3 framework to run an order engine and processor. Order book data is stored in OrbitDB, which can easily be replicated across nodes for decentralisation. OrDex is largely livenet-ready for Ethereum and IPFS. The OrDex code is available on GitHub.

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Team OrDex: Sam Werner, Daniel Perez, Paul Pritz


Second Prize: Block_Scholes, an options contract platform for cryptocurrency on Ethereum


Block_Scholes, a PhD and Masters team from a Finance background, developed an options contract platform for cryptocurrency. Implementing put/call as well as escrow functions on Ethereum, the project presented one of the most mathematically sound formulations of the weekend.


Third Prize: UNID, a unified identity solution using OrbitDB and decentralised identifiers


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Team UNID: Codin Iosif Pacuraru, Tiberiu-Andrei Georgescu, Cosmin Baies


UNID, a team of First and Second year computing students, also took the prize for the Identity challenge. They presented the problem of carrying around multiple student IDs, banks cards, restaurant loyalty cards, and proposed a one card and one app solution. UNID implemented both an Android and web interface, with data stored in OrbitDB and identity managed by decentralised identifiers and secured by biometric identification.




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Team Betcha: Jung Yoon Kim, Yee Lam Natalie Wong, Hailey, Matthew Cheung, Noel Lee


Out drinking late at the student union and bet your mate won’t make it in for lectures in the morning? Now there’s a DApp for that: Betcha, a social betting App built by a team of 3rd years from Computing and Mathematics. The code is available on GitHub. We were very impressed by the end product and usability, as well as the viral nature of the platform – Betcha took the prize for Incentives. The DApp implements livenet-ready Solidity contracts with arbitration that can be managed by MetaMask. Sporting the most impressive front-end, Betcha made use of the React framework to serve a smooth demo that could grow into a market-ready application.


The Privacy challenge was won by Axolotl, ensuring privacy in a connected economy. A combined team of students from Mechanical Engineering, PhD level, and Masters in Computing, Axolotl allowed holders of personal data, such as the NHS and universities, to share necessary personal information without revealing anything else. Authorisation of data transfers was handled by Sovrin’s decentralised identifiers.


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Dominik Harz, research assistant at the Imperial College London Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering


Further projects included CO496 who developed an anonymous auction solution on Ethereum, and MRDF, ensuring the privacy and security of medical test results in digital messaging. Another team developed Slark, a marketplace for white hat hackers, which was especially innovative in its use of escrow to combat malicious actors.


We congratulate all teams for their amazing work in such a short time, and welcome students, especially the third years, to take a look at the OV recruitment site with roles across our portfolio.

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The seven members of the jury getting ready for the presentations


Let’s Build Web3.0


At Outlier Ventures and through OV Labs we are dedicated to building Web3.0 through building apps, organising hackathons, dev cons, running network nodes and applied academic research. An important part of our work is exploring the synergies between our portfolio, and with the Imperial hackathon we kick off a series of developer focused events looking at combining these ledgers. Please join us for the next event Giving a Voice to the Blockchain, an online conference with Bottish on the the convergence of AI, DLT, Bots and User Experience with speakers from Fetch.AI, Ocean, and SEED.


If you are interested in organizing a hackathon, or would like to find out how you can be involved in future events, please send an email our Business Development team at partnerships@outlierventures.io.

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