Since Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed interest in Ethereum at his meeting with Vitalik Buterin at the World Economic Forum held in St. Petersburg, the blockchain industry in Russia has been quick to heat up. The Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference in Saint Petersburg was held in June, followed immediately by a blockchain-focused hackathon called BlockchainHack in Moscow, with 150 people in attendance competing for $100,000 worth of cryptocurrency.
The hackathon took place at the Paveletsky Art Center, a massive building in downtown Moscow that has become the de facto hub for blockchain technology in Russia, with an increasing number of blockchain developers and enthusiasts who work out of it. The event was jointly organized by BTC Media, Qtum, Zerion, Waves, the Token Fund and Blockchain School, with additional support from the community in Russia.
The teams presented ambitious demos with winning topics including a mobile application to track and invest into ICOs; an arbitration service based on smart contracts and a reputation system; facial recognition software to determine what ICOs and blockchain projects a blockchain developer has been involved in and is currently active with; among others.
The winning team, Wafer, presented a demo and vision of creating a distributed Wi-Fi network using blockchain technology. They effectively allow routers to sell traffic without being tied to a particular software on the device. It uses smart contracts to ensure that users all pay for their traffic and that a user is guaranteed to get access to the internet after payment.
Qtum was the largest sponsor of the hackathon, and with members of the Qtum Foundation in attendance, many of the developers deployed their applications to Ethereum as well as Qtum. Qtum is a hybrid blockchain that merges the UTXO transaction model of Bitcoin with the EVM on Ethereum. It began as a fork of Bitcoin and the team added in an abstraction l...