Introducing the Chainlink Block Magic Hackathon: Become an Onchain Wizard

The blockchain industry needs more onchain wizards: Developers with a deep understanding of the blockchain tech stack and an insatiable ambition to make a massive impact. 

The opportunity is undeniable. The blockchain industry has been growing rapidly in the past year, and with the recent approval of the Bitcoin ETF, there’s never been a clearer signal that blockchain technology is here to stay. With both new and experienced developers in high demand, there’s no better time to upskill your resume or start a project. 

The Chainlink Block Magic hackathon provides a clear and focused one-month path to getting from zero to one

  • Running from April 29 – June 2
  • Complimentary registration 
  • Completely virtual and global
  • $400K+ prizes (and growing) on offer
  • Get a full-stack blockchain education

What Block Magic Offers You

The opportunities available to blockchain developers differ based on each developer’s individual goals and current level of experience. 

First-Time Developers

If you’re a first-time developer looking to make blockchain development your first foray into coding, you’ve chosen well. 

A diagram showing the disparity in blockchain developers compared to traditional developers.
Blockchain-based developers represent a miniscule fraction of the entire developer population.

Here’s your opportunity: In March 2023, there were an estimated ~60,000+ blockchain-based developers. To put that number into context, there are over ~26+ million developers globally. That means blockchain developers make up just ~0.2% of the entire developer population.

Bottom line: The blockchain offers less competition in an industry that’s growing faster than the already established traditional tech industry. Better yet, the salaries are already comparable—the average Solidity developer salary is $120,000+.

If you take full advantage of the online workshops and networking opportunities, and then go the extra mile to submit a polished hackathon project, you’re already ahead of the vast majority of new blockchain developers.

Experienced Blockchain Developers

You have the knowledge. We have the resources.

If you’re an experienced blockchain developer, it’s likely you’re looking for the ability to build something that can make a real-world impact.

Here’s your opportunity: The path to mainnet can be daunting, and the hackathon helps overcome various challenges beyond coding. 

  • Startup support: If you win a hackathon prize or build a standout project, the Chainlink Block Magic hackathon provides you the chance to join a network of startups in the exclusive Chainlink BUILD program.
  • Marketing: The best hackathon projects—often the winners—are promoted across Chainlink channels at the end of the hackathon. If your project stands out to the judges, it’ll likely stand out to the Chainlink and Web3 community at large. You provide the code, Chainlink provides the community. 
  • Focus: The first few steps are one of the hardest aspects of launching a startup. Block Magic provides you with a focused, month-long period to work on your idea. And if you win a hackathon prize, you can use it to help transform your MVP into a fully-fledged protocol. 
  • Team building: There’s only so much one developer can do. Build an all-star team at virtual networking hackathon events tailor-made to connect you with like-minded individuals. 

Bottom line: The Chainlink Block Magic hackathon gives you access. Access to entrepreneurs who have already successfully navigated this space, new technologies that can make your project idea the first of its kind, partners who can help you build faster and better, and more. 

Experienced Software Developers

Same skills. New frontier.

If you’re an experienced developer with little to no experience in blockchain development, Block Magic is the ideal hackathon designed to build on your existing skills and language expertise. 

Why? Because Chainlink builds tools that connect Web2 (traditional development) and Web3 (blockchain development). Don’t worry—many skills of your skills are directly transferable to blockchain development. But with Chainlink, it can feel almost identical at times. 

Here’s your opportunity: Whether you’re looking for a new career or a better industry for entrepreneurship, the blockchain industry has it all. 

  • Level up quickly: While blockchain and smart contract development usually requires learning a new language, the fundamentals are exactly the same. In fact, you can learn everything you need to start exploring and innovating in less than 30 hours across 11 videos. Then, upskill your resume by building a project at the Block Magic hackathon. 
  • More funding: The funding landscape for blockchain applications is large. In Q1 2024 alone, $2.5B+ has been allocated to blockchain projects by venture capitalists. 
  • Get an industry pulse: The blockchain industry can be complex to navigate. While much of the development can feel similar, the industry itself works differently from many other industries. It’s a nascent space, and you’ll want to get a clearer understanding of what’s hot, what’s not, and what’ll last. That’s why Block Magic offers a dedicated learning session for Web2 developers. 
  • Less competition, same salary: Blockchain developers currently only make up ~0.2% of the developer population, but with the industry growing to new heights, onchain wizards are keenly sought after. As an experienced developer who can quickly onboard through the hackathon and add a certifiable blockchain project under your belt, you’ll be in high demand.

“A bonus for experienced, non-blockchain devs: If you’re already working on a project that doesn’t have any blockchain components, you can add onchain components and submit it to Block Magic.”

Bottom line: Block Magic is a low-lift opportunity for you to explore what blockchain technology has to offer, decide whether or not it’s worth it for you, and ultimately learn something new. 

Block Magic Prizes

A diagram detailing core prizes for the Chainlink Block Magic hackathon.
Prizes on offer at the Block Magic hackathon.

Block Magic offers $400K in prizes (and growing) across a Grand Prize and three core Chainlink prize tracks:

  • Financial services: Use Chainlink Data Streams and CCIP to build a decentralized application (dApp) that provides financial services to the onchain economy. If you’re interested in building the financial rails of the future, this is a great prize track to strive for.
  • Artificial intelligence: Use Chainlink Functions to connect AI APIs directly to smart contracts. There’s a wide-open field of new AI and blockchain use cases that have yet to be discovered. This prize track is all about finding a killer use case that works for both. 
  • Gaming and consumer apps : Hundreds of millions of users have already been onboarded to crypto, but many have yet to use blockchain applications. Games and social media applications built on blockchains have already gone viral—but the vertical is just getting started. Do you have what it takes to build blockchain’s first mainstream consumer app?

Block Magic is also offering prizes to the project with the best UI/UX and the project with the best video demo. Additionally, 18 projects will receive a Top-Quality prize for building standout projects without receiving a prize. 

All hackathon winners will be considered for admission into the Chainlink BUILD program

“Important: Hackers looking to win Chainlink prizes must use at least one Chainlink service that makes a state change on a blockchain to be considered valid during the submission process. This means that simply reading from Chainlink Data Feeds doesn’t count as a valid submission for a Chainlink core prize.”

Technical Recommendations and Judging Criteria

A diagram laying out the various Chainlink services on the Chainlink platform.
A list of Chainlink services on the Chainlink platform.

Hackathon project submissions to Block Magic are judged using a points system that takes into consideration a wide variety of factors, including UX, technical implementation, practicality, and creativity. The winning projects tend to have a creative, polished, and practical product that pushes the limits of what’s possible with blockchain technology. 

While all project submissions are evaluated holistically, there will be bonus points given for multiple Chainlink services used in a meaningful way within a project

For example, two additional points are awarded for using two services, while three additional points are awarded for using three different services—and so on. 

Check out the whole list of Chainlink’s decentralized compute services here

Note that past onchain hackathon projects will not be accepted as valid submissions. The only exception to this rule is if you and your team have built an existing project without any onchain components. These can be added upon and submitted in a valid manner. 

Become an Onchain Wizard

As blockchain technology continues to mature and integrate into various sectors, the demand for skilled developers will only escalate. Block Magic helps all developers become onchain wizards—from novices taking their first steps into coding to seasoned professionals pivoting into the space. 

Ultimately, what you get out of any hackathon is what you put into it. Block Magic simply gives you key resources and focused time to challenge yourself, make new friends, explore brighter horizons, and potentially make a mark in the blockchain world. Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of something big—to learn, innovate, and possibly even revolutionize the way we think about and interact with technology through blockchains. 

For more details, keep your eye on the Block Magic website, the Chainlink Discord, and the official Chainlink X account.

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