ETHBoston comes just barely a week after the official end of the Berlin Blockchain Week and the ETHBerlin Hackathon, and we are already excited to see what creative hacks Massachusetts will come up with!

SKALE has become the favorite Execution Layer solution over the course of the biggest Ethereum hackathons this year, the latest one being ETHBerlin. SKALE is very easy to use and very fast to integrate Ethereum dApps with. SKALE's Elastic Sidechains bring to the Execution Layer (Layer 2) the decentralization and security of a first layer blockchain. SKALE Network is using pooled security model which means that dApp-specific decentralized chain on the network is secured with pooled resources of the entire network. Subnodes on SKALE are regularly and randomly shuffled between Elastic Sidechains, giving each chain the pooled security of the entire network.

SKALE is compatible with existing Ethereum toolsets and is reported by ETHNewYork hackers to feel like being “on Mainnet, just [faster].” And to SKALE your dApp, it only takes a few lines of code and basically no new learning curve.

Join us at ETHBoston, build dApps that deploy to SKALE or use capabilities of SKALE's decentralized stack, and you can win any of the following 6 prizes:

  • 2 x $ 1000 (paid out in Dai)
  • 4 x $ 500 (paid out in Dai)

Turn your own concept into reality, or if you are not quite decided yet on what to build, perhaps the following dApp ideas can help inspire you.

Ideas for dApps

Home Automation
An on-chain software that manages trustless monitoring of IoT sensors would run better (i.e. closer to having real-time data feed because of faster finality) and more cheaply if deployed on SKALE than on Ethereum, and with greater reliability than if hosted in a cloud infrastructure, which is ripe with risks and vulnerable to unexpected downtimes. The system can provide for a built-in micropayment billing system for the use of the devices, removing the middleman and radically lowering the price costs of home automation.

Pay-Per-Minute Movie Service
The ETHBerlin Hackathon produced some really useful implementations like video streaming on blockchain through smart contracts, and a micropayments engine that can easily be integrated with any website or, as it so happens, also with video streaming service. A pay-per-minute service would allow viewers to pay only for the visual content they actually consume. Why pay for the entire show or event or movie if you only ever watched the first few scenes?

The movies can be stored on chain with SKALE Storage, the micropayment component can run on S-chains, and even streaming of video chat is made possible by SKALE’s powerful technology.          

Microtransaction-enabled Photo Marketplace
Image marketplaces currently have a pricing plan based on a set number of photos. That means in order to get the full value of a 75 images/month plan, the subscriber needs to get 75 images from the platform every single month. This disregards the actual needs of the service subscriber, which may change from 75 to 180 to only 10 images depending on the month. Even one-time packages have a minimum number the customer would need to get in order to extract full value from it. One may end up needing to pay for 10 images when he or she only needs 2.

But more than that, microtransactions even enable people to pay per-use instead of per-image, totally upending the present pricing model. If you only need to use 2 photos once, you can have a choice to pay only a far smaller amount for the single use of those 2 photos instead of paying for those 2 images in full. This kind of marketplace would be a lot more in tune with the needs of consumers.

Auctions
Auctions can greatly benefit from incorporating blockchain technology. There are usually complex rules in place which can easily be coded into smart contracts. For example, some auctions would need time stamping if speed or the order/sequence of bids is a factor. Smart contracts can also ensure that payments do not go anywhere else other than the buyer and seller. Trustless escrow can also be implemented through smart contracts.

Automated micro-auctions would be a great fit for SKALE. High turnover, high volume auctions of smaller value items would need a fast, transparent, low-cost and scalable network like SKALE.

Free-To-Play (F2P) games / Direct Ads
F2P games will really highlight the capabilities of SKALE. The free-to-play model will never economically work for games on Ethereum because of cost-prohibitive, accumulative transaction costs. With SKALE, games can be offered free to play, and reward systems such as those found in traditional games will also be viable.

An S-chain can be configured for a free-to-play game that may offset expenses with profit from an in-game microtransactions marketplace fully on chain, for example, or even through ad revenues.

Digital advertising is currently very expensive because of hefty markups by intermediaries. Ad networks connect advertisers to platforms that host the advertisements. With distributed ledger technology, digital advertising can be made P2P with minimal to no need for such a middleman. This can be a separate dApp idea by itself.

Circling back, it’s not hard to see how disintermediation in the advertising industry could also lead to disintermediation in the gaming industry. Imagine an F2P game that is partially or fully financed through ads. A self-sufficient game ecosystem can be established where the developers respond to the gamers directly rather than to game publishers. In the future, this can even be tied with development governance through blockchain and open ad-sharing, and we would see the emergence of not just F2P, but also fully decentralized games that can truly be “for the gamers, by the gamers.”    

dApps from Past Hackathons

Looking at the dApps submitted in previous hackathons can also be an excellent starting point in thinking up or deciding on a hack idea for ETHBoston. SKALE is grateful to have tallied among the most number of submissions (32 in total) from the ETHDenver, ETHParis, ETHNewYork, and ETHBerlin Hackathons. It fills us with great optimism for the future to see the innovative approaches and developmental vigor across various verticals and use cases in the decentralized space that characterize the dApps that have been submitted.

There was no shortage of DeFi applications: a dApp that can add a paywall as a way of monetizing digital content with ERC-721 token payments; a crowdfunding platform that use ERC-20 tokens to vote for and provide capital to projects on the platform; a dApp for issuing corporate bonds and offering them as collateral to open instant payment channels; a fractionalized asset investment vehicle; among others.

Other submissions are more diverse in terms of their targeted or affected industries: from gaming, web technology, decentralized governance, multimedia, social media, etc.

There are endless possible applications coming from technologies like blockchain and SKALE. Ideas and inspiration are in large supply and developers are in large demand. It’s the perfect recipe for building great things!  

See you at ETHBoston!

If you are interested in trying out SKALE’s Elastic Sidechains, make sure to join the SKALE community on Discord and visit the Developer Documentation. Also, feel free to check out SKALE’s Technical Overview and Consensus Overview for a deeper dive into how SKALE works and is able to provide 20,000 TPS.