Hyperlocal Could Be Web3’s Secret Weapon


May 9, 2023

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CoinDesk and Crypto Research and Design Lab (CRADL) have partnered to launch the world’s first hyperlocal-focused crypto hackathon.

That’s wonderful, but what does it mean?

A hackathon is a social coding event, usually sponsored by a company, to bring coders, developers, and other experts together to collaborate on creating useable software solution in a competitive environment. Hyperlocal simply means focusing on a very small geographical community. For instance, focusing efforts on Dallas, Texas would be local; focusing on Deep Ellum would be hyperlocal.

Why Do We Need a Hyperlocal Hackathon?

One might be tempted to ask, “What’s the point behind a hyperlocal hackathon?”

According to CRADL founder Tricia Wang, “designing solutions for actual communities will ensure that products are people-centered from the start.”

Wang observed that a lot of the Web3 tools being developed are being developed by the same people who built Web2. So, they’re approaching Web3 from the same mindset they used when building Web2. If that’s the case, it isn’t ever going to work.

Web3 promises to give everyone more control over their data, identities, and assets. To make that happen, Wang believes everyone needs to be a builder. But the tools aren’t yet available to facilitate no-code building for everyone. That’s why Wang believes a focus on hyperlocal will ensure that developers focus on solutions that people can use rather than solutions that fit one person’s vision. She’s defined five pressing hyperlocal challenges that blockchains can solve:

  1. Generational wealth
  2. Financial health
  3. Sustainable culture and communities
  4. Environmental well-being
  5. Disaster response and relief

Surely, there’s more than that.

When Will the Hyperlocal Web3athon Take Place?

The first phase of the hyperlocal Web3athon began June 9. It runs through July 24. Once the first phase is done, the second phase will commence on August 1 and run through September.

In the first phase, participants imagined a solution and presented ideas for judging. In the second phase, participants will build their solution and submit it to judges. Winners will receive prizes totaling $800,000.

For a hackathon to be successful, participants must be more than coders and developers. Of course, coders and developers are important members of a hackathon team. After all, someone needs to be in the weeds with building the product. However, it helps if people who would use a product are involved. That’s why hackathon’s invite non-coding professionals and end users to the events, and Web3athon is no exception.

There should be more hackathons focused on hyperlocal development because people live and breathe in communities. If a builder can’t solve the needs of an existing community, what’s the point in creating a community and trying to solve the needs of that one?