• “We’ve seen this explosive growth in the Solana ecosystem and a lot of that doesn’t come from the hackathon, but the hackathons are a focal point to get everyone together to build a product and showcase what they’re working on,” Yakovenko said.
  • Ignition marks the fourth Solana hackathon and is expected to have an even stronger pool of participants after its third hackathon brought in over 13,000 developers

Solana, a global blockchain platform, launched its Ignition Hackathon event on Tuesday with up to $5 million total in prizes and seed funding. 

Ignition marks the fourth Solana hackathon and is expected to have an even stronger pool of participants after its third hackathon brought in over 13,000 developers, up 333% from 3,000 developers at the second hackathon earlier this year. 

At the time of publication, over 370 participants signed up to participate just hours after the event was announced.

Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs co-founder and CEO told Blockworks he expects about 13,000 developers to join the Ignition event, but added he wouldn’t be surprised if there were even more registrants. 

“We’ve seen this explosive growth in the Solana ecosystem and a lot of that doesn’t come from the hackathon, but the hackathons are a focal point to get everyone together to build a product and showcase what they’re working on,” Yakovenko said. 

Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs co-founder and CEO
Anatoly Yakovenko, Solana Labs co-founder and CEO

“The space allows people to find teams and folks looking to build up Solana…Most of the teams weren’t people who knew each other prior to the hackathon, and the result of those are pretty substantial growth across the ecosystem because we’ve seen folks that are really hungry and dedicated to build a product and raise capital within a span of four weeks,” he added.  

Solana was founded in 2017 and is seen as a competitor to Ethereum, the largest blockchain platform for decentralized projects and applications. Solana is also known to be faster and cheaper than Ethereum for completing transactions, Blockworks previously reported

The event will last from August 31 to October 8 and the grand champion will receive $75,000 USDC and tickets to attend the Solana Breakpoint conference in Lisbon. Although there will only be one “grand champion,” there will be multiple tracks and prizes for participants to launch their projects from including: Web3, DeFi, gaming and art and collectibles. 

Ignition’s rules defines the categories as the following: 

  • DeFi Track: Build decentralized finance applications, tools, infrastructure and more to push forward the crypto space.
  • Web3 Track: Build decentralized apps, DAOs, and infrastructure to cut the middleman out of popular web2 platforms.
  • Gaming Track: Design blockchain-based games, NFTs, and more to allow users to directly interact with p2p markets.
  • Digital Art and Collectibles Track: Create NFTs that can be sold or auctioned off that enable creators to directly connect with their fans around the world.

There are 47 judges for the event, including CEO of FTX Sam Bankman-Fried, Founder of Circle Jeremy Allaire, Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares Meltem Demirors and General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz Ali Yayha, among many others. 

The judges will be weighing their votes based on the project’s potential impact, functionality, novelty and design. Questions include: How will this project impact the growth of the Solana ecosystem? How well does the project work? How unique is the project? And is the user experience and design of the project well thought out?

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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a Houston-based reporter covering digital asset funds and markets. She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism.