Team CrossYield: (From left) Chan, Tan, Cheong, Yudhishthra, and Viman at ETHTaipei 2024.

IN late March 2024, the Asia Pacific University Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Club (APUBCC) from the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) sent five exceptional members to ETHTaipei, an international hackathon held from March 22 to 24.

The event featured 40 hours of continuous hacking to develop innovative blockchain applications using Ethereum technologies.Out of 70 teams and 306 participants from 12 countries, Team CrossYield from APU, composed of blockchain, finance, and marketing whizzes, stood out among the competition. They emerged as a standout team, winning multiple awards across 56 submissions.

Their project, “CrossYield,” an inter-blockchain self-repaying loan protocol, secured them a total prize of US$5,100 (approximately RM24,000) from sponsors like Zircuit, Thundercore, Circle, and Dyson Finance.

Multiple prizes the team won including first place for using dual investment on Dyson Finance (a retail-friendly Decentralized Exchange) as a source of yield, worth US$1,500; first place for deploying smart contracts on ThunderCore, earning them US$1,100; second place in the Best Overall Project on Zircuit, bringing them US$1,500; and Best Application for Crypto Capital Markets from Circle, with a reward of US$1,000.

Under the mentorship of Prof Dr Vinesh Thiruchelvam, who is APU chief innovation and enterprise officer, Team CrossYield developed a groundbreaking decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol, setting new standards for cross-chain borrowing and lending. This platform addresses critical challenges in DeFi, such as collateral flexibility, debt management, and high transaction costs, making DeFi more accessible and efficient.

Team lead Yudhishthra Sugumaran explained, “CrossYield aims to revolutionise the DeFi landscape by addressing the lack of flexibility in traditional borrowing and lending platforms, the associated high transaction fees, and loan liquidation risks.”

Yudhishthra, who heads the APUBCC, Malaysia’s first and largest student blockchain club, highlighted CrossYield’s advanced technical features and strong market adoption strategy, poised to transform the DeFi ecosystem. Currently pursuing a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (Cyber Security) degree at APU, Yudhishthra had prior internships in leading global blockchain companies and won up to 20 hackathons which fortified his experience in the ecosystem.

The APU team members at ETHTaipei included Vanessa Chan Jia Wei, a Bachelor of Banking and Finance (Hons) student specialising in Financial Technology, who holds the position of APUBCC vice president; Benjamin Tan Kerk Zheng, a Cyber Security student also working as a frontend developer and developer relations in the blockchain sector; Viman Vinesh, a Software Engineering student overseeing marketing and pitch strategies; and Cheong Yee Chian, a Cyber Security student excelling in trading and market research in the blockchain industry.

Despite diverse academic backgrounds, the team’s expertise in blockchain was rooted in APU’s programme modules emphasising web development, project management, and programming fundamentals. The success was further supported by technical workshops and hackathons organised by APU communities like APU Hackthletes, offering a solid foundation in idea generation and blockchain development.

In affirming the achievement of the students he mentored, Prof Vinesh remarked, “The development of both hard and soft skills based on multiple intelligences has become a core strength of higher education. As a Premier Digital Tech University, APU is committed to offering top-notch technology courses that enhance students’ employability through diverse intelligence training, ensuring our highly-skilled graduates continue to flourish and meet future job demands both locally and globally.”

ETHTaipei 2024, held at POPUP Taipei, featured Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin as a keynote speaker, showcasing participant talent, promoting technical exchange, and boosting the momentum of the Ethereum ecosystem. This event provided APU’s participants with a fruitful learning experience in cutting-edge Ethereum technology and applications.

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