What happens when you ask small teams of college students to solve real-world problems?
Inspired solutions – that’s what.
HackSC is an annual hackathon at the University of Southern California (USC) that RippleX has been honored to be part of for the past two years. This year, RippleX sponsored the hackathon, which attracted 800 emerging developers, designers and builders. We hosted a series of challenges, encouraging teams to develop innovative solutions using the XRP Ledger. We were blown away at the results!
Bridging the World through Innovation
Inspired by the world’s need for connectivity during these turbulent times, this year’s HackSC theme of “Connect the World” challenged participants to innovate ideas and solutions to bring individuals and communities together.
Students developed technology solutions under four distinct verticals with winners declared for each vertical.
The HackSC 2021 vertical requirements and winners were:
- Person: Teams must develop a solution to enrich relationships and enable more effective communications. Winner: PurplePOV, connecting people with differing viewpoints for discussions.
- Team: Participants must discover ways to ease productivity, collaboration, and redefine what “connectivity” means. Winner: Handoff, a simple collaborative website-building tool.
- Customer: Teams must create a way to simplify the exchange of products and encourage customer conversation at the same time. Winner: Cofu, helping people sell food online.
- Device: Participants must develop a way to integrate and connect numerous devices together. Winner: Brainrunner, a game that uses brain sensors to help people with Cerebal Palsy relax.
As a part of this year’s hackathon, RippleX hosted a workshop, API demo and presented three distinct, sponsored challenges in order to foster connectivity and encourage innovation.
Challenge #1: Gaming
During this first challenge, participants built an addictive game or virtual world. In addition to enabling the acceptance of the digital asset XRP for the purchase of virtual goods, students developed a way for users to issue their in-game currency directly on the XRP Ledger, track balances and facilitate value exchange.
Challenge #2: Media
During the second challenge, teams created a social media platform similar to YouTube, Instagram or Clubhouse. The platform needed to enable users to subscribe and pay their favorite creators — including allowing them to send XRP-based tips.
Challenge #3: Messaging
In the final challenge, students built a new kind of messaging application. Teams were asked to make the application simple for users to establish connections as trust lines on the XRPL, including providing credit-based payments to one another using the currency of their choice.
We were impressed with all of the teams who participated in our challenges this year! The energy and creativity demonstrated inside such a short, 36-hour window never ceases to amaze us.
The winner of the RippleX gaming challenge went to RippleXChat. Built by Atharva Rishi, Gayatri Atale and Tanvi Pisat, RippleXChat is a messaging app with support for XRP payments. It uses Express.js, Socket.io and the Google Cloud Platform in order to integrate the XRP Ledger with chat messages.
Their small team learned a lot about blockchain technology and how to use XRP during this challenge. In the future, they imagine RippleXChat could incorporate support for tokens (IOUs). View the RippleXChat source code on GitHub.
The winner of our media challenge (and with one of the best project names) went to OnlyStans. The team developed a social media platform that uses the XRP Ledger and makes it simple for fans to pay celebrities in order to chat with them.
Lastly, the winner of our messaging challenge went to NFT! This team of students created a system for minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the XRP Ledger as a way of tracking art purchases.
Congratulations to all HackSC participants! We are inspired by the young visionaries building new solutions on the XRP Ledger and bolstering the XRPL developer community.
If you are a developer and are interested in building on the XRP Ledger, find out more today.