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DApphack Berlin

DApphack was a hackathon and unconference about decentralized systems, organized by Ksenya Bellman, Johannes Hildings and Sven Laepple, ASTRATUM. It focused on decentralized tech, with leaad developers from ethereum, Parity, Oraclize, IPFS, BigChainDB, Orbit, DAT, SWARM and legal experts from DLA piper and Bundesblock (which was founded some months later). It took place in 2016 at Agora Collective, Berlin.

Back in time, there was not much talk about blockchain or ICO's, and more about censorship resistance or shock resilient systems. It is our conviction that knowledge and understanding of deep tech is mandatory to understand their capabilities in order to make use of their full potential.

The line-up of speakers was pretty phenomenal for an admission free event. Core-devs of IPFS, the ethereum foundation and parity were present as well as many other well-known people. Among the recurring themes of the conference were distributed storage, distributed application (DApp) development and serverless pub/sub systems. 

Thanks to David for his nice post about DApphack.

All presentations of DApphack were recorded by Adjy Leak and can be watched on his Youtube channel.


David Roon kicked off the event by introducing a java library for smart contracts. His talk was followed by Thomas Bertani’s presentation of Oraclize, a service that solves a problem that concerns almost all dapp developers: how to access external data from the context of a smart contract. A third talk that featured development tools was from Tomasz Drwięga, Parity, about how to build an app with Parity 

Distributed Storage : IPFS, SWARM, DAT

With IPFS and Swarm, two of the big projects that promise distributed storage were present. David Dias from IPFS presented in his IPFS talk the challenges and possibilities of building dapps with their distributed storage protocol. Viktor Tron from ethereum presented Swarm, ethereum’s native distributed storage system. Swarm seemed to differentiate itself from the already relatively widely deployed IPFS by its focus on incentivization of data storage.

DATproject was the third project, lesser known, but not less interesting. DAT aims to become a “Better bittorent”. It enables not only filesharing, but also sharing of folders and data streams, which can make distributed live TV possible. Last but not least in this category was the presentation of the Alexandria project. It is a project that uses IPFS as backend to permanently provide content on the net. It has a well developed integration of bitcoin payments.

Distributed Pub/Sub Systems: OrbitDB, SECURE SCUTTLEBUTT


Two talks at DApphack fits in this category. OrbitDB, a sister-project to IPFS and Secure Scuttlebutt. The demo of Secure Scuttlebutt was impressive, because they already implemented several working applications, including a Twitter-like social network and an app, similar to Soundcloud.​​

Decentralized Systems & LAW: NINA SIEDLER, FLORIAN GLATZ

On day 2, we had the lawyers Nina Siedler from DLA Piper (today and Florian Glatz ( and Bundesblock) presenting legal aspects to consider, when designing and developing decentralized systems and DApps or fundraising decentralized projects.

The event was a two day intensive deep dive in deep tech, made by core developers for developers at a time, when decentralized tech and blockchain was still a mystery to most people, even from the tech industry. In addition, there was also a complementary part regarding legal aspects of decentralized systems, cryptocurrencies and the selection of proper jurisdictions for blockchain based systems. It was very precious to gather such a number of experts for two days to a small event in Berlin, giving the opportunity to meet and learn from each other, exploring the limitations and possibilities of decentralized technology.

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