Blockchain ‘Hackathon’ culture eyed in Seoul

DoraHacks plans world’s largest event during ABF in Oct.

“We plan to nurture good hackers. Korea has only 400 developers with blockchain capabilities. This number can result in 5 to 10 wonderful projects but it’s difficult to do more than that. Matching the demand and supply for developers in the global market is also our role.”

A “hackathon,” a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon,” is an event in which computer programmers, planners, designers and others involved in software development form a team to hammer out ideas and collaborate on software projects based on this. It can be the soil for adjusting new technology to the reality and is often found in the United States and Europe.

The hackathon culture originated in the West and is unfamiliar in Asia. China is no exception.

In 2014, Steve Yue, co-founder of DoraHacks, introduced hackathons to China where even the word was hardly heard. In a video interview with Decenter on Sept. 13, Yue said he began the hackathon at Tsinghua University and made his every effort to bring the new culture to China.

DoraHacks is a global organizer of hackathons all over the world _ the U.S., Germany, Britain and Japan as well as China. It has joined forces with more than 30,000 developers to organize hundreds of hackathons. The name DoraHacks comes from “Doraemon.”

Many hackathons have taken place in Korea too but have yet to take root as a culture. Steve Kim, head of DoraHacks Korea, said, “Good and proven developers in Korea already belong to stable companies. They rarely take part in hackathons.” He introduced the different atmosphere of foreign countries where “competent seniors also take part in hackathons as mentors or players to brush up on their skills and contribute to developer communities.” “There are negative views on blockchain but I’d like to contribute to improving its image by creating jobs and vitalizing startups through hackathons,” he said.

According to Steve Kim and his colleagues, corporate and investors’ demand for hackathons organized by DoraHacks is quite big because of longings for talented persons and good ideas. “Companies want to be sponsors in search of good ideas and talents and funds do so to look for investment opportunities. Broad developer networks and famed mentor groups are DoraHacks’ valuable assets,” Yue said. In fact, DoraHacks has formed partnerships with Huobi, Bitcoin Cash, Ontology, Nebulas, Bitmain, OKEx, Wanchain, Blackwater Capital, GBIC and Oasis Labs.

Since January, DoraHacks has been organizing hackathons by setting blockchain as the keyword. “We organize hackathons, pivoting around then spotlighted technologies. Back in 2014, big data, cloud storage and docker storage were in the spotlight,” Yue said.

He expected blockchain technology to remain as the main talking point for a considerable period.

“People’s interest in blockchain will continue for 5 to 10 years. There is no need to be in chaos concerning big market fluctuations because it’s still in its infancy.”

DoraHacks is painting a big picture linking hackers around the world. Toward that end, it is preparing to organize the world’s largest blockchain hackathon in Seoul in October. The event will take place during the Asia Blockchain & Fintech in Seoul to be held Oct. 27-Nov. 1. The ABF in Seoul, co-hosted by Seoul City, the Seoul Economic Daily, Chain Partners, WeWork and supervised by Decenter, will feature various events on blockchain and fintech and 5G at Seoul Startup Hub, Shilla Hotel, Sebitsome and WeWork offices in Seoul for a week. DoraHacks plans to hold hackathons _ with blockchain being the keyword _ with Chain Partners and EOSYS on Oct. 27–28.

Yue said, “We will create blockchain hubs in Boston, Berlin, Bangalore, Beijing, Tokyo, San Francisco and Seoul this year. Next year we will be active in Russia, Singapore, Israel and Australia.” His extensive plans will be pushed in connection with developer communities and hackathon organizers in each region. Global partners in each region will also help the alliances. DoraHacks’ goal is surely to build distributed networks that keep going thanks to contributions from participants like blockchain.

/by Shim Doobo (
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