Proof-of-Transparency – ETHBerlin – Medium

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During the wrapping up of our hackathon, we encountered an issue. Here are all the details and the solution.

Görli Testnet demoing

During the 36 hours of hacking that took place at ETHBerlin, there were many projects exceeding normal hackathon expectations. We will publish the winners (of course — they are winners due to this) soon, but first, we gotta get this out of the way.

One of our winners was Görli Testnet. This project was actually the highest scorer in the whole hackathon — to be fully transparent. The project was split in two, both worked by Chainsafe Systems + Afri Schoedon from Parity. It included a cross-chain PoA testnet + a Faucet, hence both projects were judged separately.

Anything can happen in 36 hours in this ever-changing space burgeoning with ideas and open collaboration — and indeed, everything happened. Görli Testnet transcended. Thanks to the great help from mentors from Parity and Martin Holst-Swende from the Ethereum Foundation, it was possible for the project to become larger than ETHBerlin.

We cannot be prouder. To facilitate these efforts from both seasoned “ethereum veterans” hacking together with our hackers, and create something this big, is much more than we could have ever dreamed of, in our wildest hacker dreams.

However, our submission guidelines apply to everyone. While going through a second review of the project, we realized the Geth repo had more than the number of required participants (3–5). We reached out to the Görli Testnet team who were completely transparent about their mission on this Berlin trip: they did not come for the prizes, but to get this project rolling, and they resigned their prize understanding we needed to be fair.

In Evan Van Ness’ words — he was one of the judges: “ I didn’t get the feeling that they were trying to win the prize for the money, more like they wanted recognition. Also, if I understood what someone was telling me during the award ceremony, the ETHBerlin prizes were a bit more substantial than other EthGlobal events.

Furthermore, there were many different pieces to Görli, and it seemed like some of the people involved were working on tangential things (e.g., faucet) so it’s possible that you could pick a core team which is just 5 people that were working on a core piece of the project? Personally, I would still have given the same score even if the scope had been more limited.”

They came, they saw, they conquered, and now they need HELP. They need more devs to help them build Görli Testnet, and more people to promote this great project.

In the words of Afri Schoedon:

“There are many Ethereum testnets available for experimenting with smart contracts and deploying decentralised applications before going live on the main Ethereum network. However, there is no testnet available that is both widely usable across all client implementations, and robust enough to guarantee consistent availability and high reliability.”

We understand there might be some technical controversy around this project, but we trust the dev community can code their way past this and reach agreements. We, ETHBerlin, are calling for collaboration from the Ethereum Ecosystem into this project.

What does Ethereum get, besides a new, innovative testnet? more Geth contributors, already coding their asses off. That’s invaluable.

Aidan Hyman, representing the Chainsafe team, added: “The intention behind this Berlin trip was to work on something that alone we could have never accomplished. Our goal was to work with the mentors and build something we truly believe will have an impact on the way Ethereum testnets work. When we got called onstage, we were so excited to talk about the project, not focusing on the prize, but on getting our word out there. Our entire team is committed to adhering to the rules and being fully transparent about our intentions. Moving forward, it seems like we will be implementing Clique into Parity Ethereum, with outside contributors already attempting to implement Aura into Geth. Please join our Gitter to get involved! I would like to personally apologize for taking the stage away from Good-Badger, your project is incredible and deserves recognition as open bounty winners. Thank you to the organizers, volunteers and everyone at the hackathon for making it one of our team’s most memorable experiences.”

Now back to the prizes and the competition. Unfortunately, Görli Testnet is effectively disqualified. This breaks our heart a bit — mind us, a hackathon can make you as emotional as Titanic the movie when it first came out.

Therefore, we have already contacted, explained the situation, and awarded, the project that took 11th place: Good-Badger.

All the way from South Africa, the team from Blockchain innovation studio TrustLab is in line with our reasoning and has already accepted their prize and sends a message out for the ETHBerlin community:

“The Good-Badger team is happy to have been chosen as one of the top 10 open bounty winners and we’re pleased with the way this unfortunate situation has been handled. Despite that, the Görli project should still be recognised and supported by the community for their innovative work. We’re really happy with what we built and so pleased to have been a part of ETHBerlin this year. If you want to see our Good-Badger project, you can find it on Devpost.”

Even though our judging process was an improved, feedback-based revisit of all ETHGlobal hackathons judging processes; at the time of the truth, emotions play a big role, and these mistakes can happen. Luckily, we are all in this together and we were able to solve this.

We are incredibly proud of these two teams — and now that we have gotten this out of the way, stay tuned for our next post on the other winners!

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