In 2020, Chainlink held its first-ever virtual hackathon. DeFi as a category had just started gaining steam, and NFTs were only just getting started. The hackathon saw 1,000+ registrations and 70+ submissions from hackers across 45+ nations.
Since then, every Chainlink hackathon has been bigger, better, and more advanced than its predecessors.
This blog provides an in-depth look into Constellation, the biggest Chainlink hackathon yet, running from November 8 to December 10, 2023. Keep reading for prize breakdowns, technical recommendations, and judging criteria, as well as learning tracks and technical workshops.
Constellation: A Chainlink Hackathon
Constellation has been purpose-built to provide all Web3 engineers of any experience level with a simple, clear-cut path to success through the Chainlink platform, which provides a universal gateway to connect to any blockchain. Every year, Web3 developers have the opportunity to build with cutting-edge infrastructure primitives to change how the world thinks of—and uses—Web3. For Constellation participants, that time is now.
The Chainlink platform is being used across the Web3 ecosystem to supercharge any and all Web3 applications, from DeFi to NFTs, AI, gaming, cross-chain, and beyond. We encourage all hackathon participants to strive to reach new heights in the verticals they’re passionate about by creatively implementing Chainlink services.
There is no limit to what you can create. Constellation prizes and prize tracks were crafted to empower developers to showcase their unbound creativity, no matter where their imagination takes them. In past hackathons, teams have built fully functional minimum viable products (MVPs) and presented them to win prizes, deploy to mainnet, and kickstart their startup journey. Simply put: If you can dream it, you can build it at Constellation.
Prize and Prize Track Breakdowns
Constellation offers $350K in prizes (and growing) across seven core prize tracks:
- ($25,000) Grand Prize: Independent of any specific vertical or theme, the Constellation Grand Prize is awarded to the project with the best implementation across all hackathon teams.
- ($22,500) DeFi and Payments: Build next-generation, lightning-fast DeFi applications today that will become the financial rails of tomorrow. New oracle primitives like Chainlink Data Streams (already used by leading derivatives protocol GMX) are your opportunity to take DeFi to its terminal velocity.
- ($22,500) Cross-Chain Solutions: Chainlink CCIP is ushering in a new era of secure cross-chain development: 80+ projects are actively integrating CCIP just two months after its launch. This is your chance to build on top of a future-proof standard and get ahead of the curve.
- ($15,000) Web3 Gaming and Dynamic NFTs: Dynamic NFTs expand the design space for Web3 games and NFT collections, unlocking new forms of gamification. Devs can build these next-gen apps faster—and with more functionality—with Chainlink VRF, Functions, and Automation 2.0.
- ($15,000) SocialFi Innovation: Friendtech showed the industry what’s possible when Web3 meets social. DAOs are pioneering new forms of societal collaboration. This vertical is ripe for innovation. Use Chainlink to connect Web2 scalability and UX with verifiable Web3 compute and services.
- ($15,000) Web3 and AI: Two technological frontiers, now connected by Chainlink Functions. Hackathon devs can connect AI to smart contracts in just a few minutes, and then spend the rest of the month-long sprint building something great.
- ($15,000) Tech for Good: Whether it’s regenerative finance (ReFi) or accessibility-equipped Web3 protocols, the Tech for Good prize is made for hackathon participants with a passion for building products, projects, and protocols that make a positive change in the world.
In addition to the above prize tracks, 20 Top-Quality Prizes of $500 each will be awarded to projects with outstanding implementations.
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
Hackathon project submissions to Constellation 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 Web3 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.
Learning Tracks, Technical Workshops, and Important Links
Constellation offers its participants a wide variety of educational materials, technical workshops, real-time support, and project feedback. Developers of all experience levels will be catered to.
- Beginner: Constellation offers a specific beginner track to help first-time devs and Web2 devs quickly learn the basics of blockchain, smart contract, and oracle technology. If you dedicate the time and effort, Constellation can condense a year of self-learning into a single month.
- Intermediate: For those with a good grasp of Web3 development basics, Constellation provides real-time technical support in the Chainlink Discord to help troubleshoot issues, as well as high-level workshops on specific libraries and environments such as React, Typescript, and node.js. This is how you take the leap to expert.
- Expert: If you’re an expert Web3 developer, Constellation provides deep-dive workshops on the latest tools and technologies available to Web3 developers in production. Get complimentary credits to bootstrap your idea, build with future-proof technologies, learn security best practices, and prepare for a mainnet launch.
While all learning resources are freely available, hackathon participants should choose the one most suited to their experience level.
Assemble Your Crew. Prime Your Engines. Go for Launch.
The key to Web3’s success lies with its developers. Applications are the core of any web experience, and our industry is no exception.
Constellation—and Chainlink hackathons at large—are designed to foster and build up each new generation of Web3 developers by empowering them with the tools, connections, support, and prizes they need to build the application that redefines Web3 and takes the entire industry to new heights.
With Chainlink, developers have all the tools they need: access to scalable blockchains, secure cross-chain interoperability, and seamless API connectivity. All that’s left is to connect the dots, build a breakthrough project, and cement your legacy.