APU hackers shine in Seoul

At the top of their game: (from left) Vincent, Yudhishthra, Viman, Brian and Gavin celebrating their win with Wordcoin representatives who presented them with the mock cheque.

THE only team from a Malaysian university to take part in an international blockchain hackathon in Seoul, Korea, five students from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) were overjoyed when their project was named Best Governance App Winner.

Winning a cash prize worth US$3,000 (RM13,998), Team alphaQuality, who represented the varsity’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Club (APUBCC), was among 48 teams comprising 250 Ethereum blockchain hackers from 30 countries who took part in the hackathon at ETH Seoul 2023.

According to team lead Yudhishthra Sugumaran, the hackathon was an open-ended competition where participants could build any decentralised application (DApp).

“We were given only three days to develop the product and pitch it to organisers and sponsors on the last day.

“Contestants had the choice of integrating sponsored technologies as part of their technology stack.

“For the solution we built, the governance element we had was among the best because of the bigger use case involved,” the computer science student, who teamed up with software engineering students Vincent Owen Toniwan and Brian Joseph Keyrupan, computer science student Gavin Owen Susanto, and foundation in business student Viman Vinesh, said in a press release.

Their winning DApp project named Trustless Badge Membership Protocol, Yudhishthra added, is a system that allows users to suggest rules for badges, or virtual awards, through a voting process.

“By using the techniques of making the users publicly commit to fulfilling the requirements of the proposed badge rules, unique badges will be created.

“These badges can be used in certain apps to give special benefits to the people who have them,” he explained.

Crediting the team’s mentor APU chief innovation and enterprise officer Prof Dr Vinesh Thiruchelvam with offering them his support, Yudhishthra said, “He gave us directions and suggestions based on past offline hackathons to prepare us for the hackathon.”The team also attributed their win to the web development fundamentals learned from their courses, as well as the growing blockchain community in the varsity.

The fundamentals provided a good starting point for them to code the front end of the product and improve iteratively from their research, while the blockchain community helped provide the right exposure and environment for the members to ask questions and get technical support, the team said.

It also helped guide them through what to focus more on when building the product, and figuring out what problems had not been solved yet in the blockchain space, they added.

Also the APUBCC vice president, Yudhishthra urged students to actively take part in hackathons, both online and physical, and to “grab every opportunity they can”.

“Given that the blockchain space is still new and constantly growing with new ideas and innovations every day, it can be challenging to keep up with these trends.

“Coping with these trends under pressure is a surefire way to learn a lot, network with brilliant people, and improve your perspective, which can make you a stand-out candidate from an employer’s perspective,” he said.

Lauding the team for their feat, Prof Vinesh said the achievement had solidified APU’s strength in producing talents skilled in emerging technology applications such as blockchain development.

APUBCC consultant Suresh Naidu Sadasivan added that the victory would help to inspire current students to continue to strive for excellence.

Organised by KryptoSeoul and Dystopia Labs, ETH Seoul 2023 was held from June 2 to 4, and was one of Asia’s most prestigious blockchain events.

It brought together developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders from around the globe for networking and knowledge-sharing, providing participants with valuable insights into the Ethereum ecosystem and its related technologies.

Following their participation in the event, the team also took part in BUIDL Asia 2023, a two-day technical blockchain conference hosted by KryptoSeoul from June 6 to 7.

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APU , blockchain , hackathon


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