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2019: A Build Odyssey

By April 5, 2019 March 1st, 2021 274 Comments

In just a matter of days (April 12th to 15th), Executive Director of ECF, QJ will visit Groningen in The Netherlands for the Odyssey hackathon, joining as a Super Accelerator. Odyssey is an ambitious hybrid between an incubator and a hackathon that promises to make waves in the ecosystem. Continue reading to learn more about our role there, and what some of the voyagers from the Ethereum community will be up to in this new quest.

For some context, the Odyssey hackathon is the biggest Blockchain+AI hackathon in the world. A whopping total of a hundred teams have been invited, guided by 200 experts. These teams, will build solutions for 20 societal challenges, within 12 tracks, some of them being Nature 2.0, Crisis and Disaster Management, Inclusive Banking and Feeding the Future.

The community — which we believe, needs no introduction — is sending four teams to our hackathon, who will work on five separate challenges (Tokenization of the Odyssey Ecosystem, Inclusive Banking, Nature2.0, and Scaling Wildlife Protection), and will produce four different prototypes. After the hackathon, they are planning to merge the four prototypes.

Griff Green, one of the most prominent Giveth members, told us: “Giveth is in the early design phase on a very big project with the working title being the “Commons Stack” and the Odyssey hackathon is an opportunity to build a complete POC. Once completed, and iterated upon, it will allow communities to bootstrap their own token economy to address issues that commonly meet the “tragedy of the commons” dilemma.
At Giveth, we believe economies have the potential to coordinate large groups of people to solve real human needs, but every economy has externalities that don’t fit its economic design. If we can use robust token engineering practices to design small economies that can account for those externalities and overlay them on top of the local default economy, we can tip the scales back into balance so that these externalities can be adequately accounted for by the economic actors looking to create value in their local economy.
Usually, to account for these externalities, communities rely on governments and non-profits to protect their quality of life and shared resources that suffer from not being accounted for properly by the local economy. We believe we can build systems that can lessen the burden of these altruistic organizations, by rewarding them for the value that they produce in a smaller economy focused on dealing with a specific cause.”

To accomplish this, the Giveth team breaks into five teams.

Team 1 is in the Tokenizing Ecosystems track and is designing and building the Token bonding curve — already in PoC by Blockscience to: allow the community to bootstrap the economy, align incentives by locking tokens that are purchased early on and sends taxes to the commons from people that profit from the system, creates a continuous funding model by incentivizing people to burn tokens when the supply gets large and mint tokens when the supply gets small.

Team 2 is in the Nature 2.0 track and is working on the governance of the Commons. They are using a governance model designed specifically for Giveth’s use case called conviction voting. It is based on biomimetic models and includes a time dimension in the voting power calculation to avoid game theoretical attacks from the learnings of many TCR experiments.

Griff tells us about the third team (his team): “Team 3 is called “Morpheus Proposal Engine” we are in the Scaling Wildlife Track. This is my team we are integrating the Commons system into Giveth to create an open proposal framework so that anyone can propose an idea and get funding from the Commons, or individual donors. If the Commons governance breaks down, the people trying to work towards solving the tragedy of the commons issue (in our case rejuvenating the forests of Indonesia) are still able to be funded directly, as the commons is one actor in an open system. We also enable giveth milestones to be nominated into the commons governance system.”

Team XS Change is in the Inclusive Banking track. They are going meta and are creating a Commons of Commons to create a digital resource economy, where each resource can be exchanged directly as a sort of digital barter economy.

Finally, Team 5 is the Source Cred team, led by Michael Zargham. They are building an attribution system so that contributions can be adequately rewarded.

Another member of the Ethereum community, Abbey Titcomb, has been working with Michael Zargham and others on the Commons Stack project, and is also joining the hackathon. She says: “Over the last two months, we’ve gathered a team of over thirty developers, designers, researchers, and builders to come together at the Odyssey Hackathon to work on the Commons Stack — an open-source project building technical reference implementations for community funding and governing models. The groups work will focus on building, testing, and simulating modules of crypto economic primitives like augmented bonding curves, curation markets, conviction voting, and attribution networks.
The Odyssey Hackathon is the event to attend if you want to “build the unimaginable”. The hack tracks focus on restructuring human behavior, redesigning the way things work, and just creating a better future. They also offer tons of post-event support and are devoted to making the ideas formed in the hackathon a reality.
This event is meant to be the start of a movement and the start of a community of people dedicated to shifting the paradigm and restructuring the way we coordinate, collaborate, and take action as humans. We hope that the Commons Stack is the start to the growth of a larger open-source community contributing to designing new ways to fund and govern communities. “

If these teams are so promising, we cannot even imagine what is in stock for the others. ECF is very much looking forward — in high anticipation and spirits — to get to know all projects and teams. We firmly believe this hackathon has the potential to bootstrap a new movement of builders, that can improve the legacy tools and systems, and architect new ones.

The ECF team, stewarded by QJ our Executive Director, will support multiple teams during the hackathon, advice jury panels and elect one team, from the 20 winners, to be in the spotlight and be connected with the major players in the ecosystem. We will join the likes of Ocean Protocol, Parity Tech, Mattereum, Deloitte, the Ministries of Finance, Justice & Safety, of the Netherlands, KLM, and dozens of other relevant companies within Blockchain, AI, and various industries.

If you are curious to know more about Odyssey, check out these videos: