Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?

Five Ways to Prep for the Bitcoin Unleashed Hackathon

This weekend in London, over 400 hackers are registered to participate in the Stacks x EasyA Bitcoin Hackathon. Over the course of 36 hours, devs will compete to build the next generation of Bitcoin applications, powered by fully expressive Stacks smart contracts. There’s £20,000 up for grabs to the best projects. Here’s five easy steps to make sure you have what you need to hit the ground running.

Deep dive
October 19, 2023
Developer Advocate
Developer Advocate
Hackathon instructions

Not in London? Not a problem. You can still participate in the #60DaysofStacks challenge via the EasyA app, and these steps will help you get started building on Stacks, whether in the hackathon or on your own. Let's dive in.

1. Set Up Your Hiro Platform Account

The Hiro Platform enables you to create and deploy Bitcoin smart contracts directly from a web browser. It comes with pre-installed tools, such as VS Code, Clarity for VS Code, and Clarinet, which means you can go from contract conception to mainnet deployment faster than you can say “Satoshi.”

2. Get Some STX Testnet Tokens

Get STX testnet tokens, so you can quickly and easily deploy contracts on testnet and debug your projects in a public network. Testnet is a blockchain environment, complete with its own miners and nodes, that simulates the Stacks mainnet environment. It enables you to test your code without any real-world, financial risk. To use testnet, however, you need testnet tokens in order to pay gas fees (note: these testnet tokens are free and have no value). 

3. Brainstorm Hackathon App Ideas

Hackathons are an opportunity to push the boundaries of your creativity. Check out this list of Bitcoin DeFi app ideas for inspiration. From decentralized exchanges to lending protocols, crowdfunding mechanisms or stable swaps, the world of Bitcoin is yours to explore!

4. Jumpstart Your Front-End With Stacks.js Starters

Stacks.js Starters are the fastest way to start a new JavaScript project using Stacks.js. Pick your favorite framework and basic features (e.g. wallet connection, send/receive tokens, interact with NFTs) to generate a new project template with just a few clicks. You’ll be miles ahead of the competition in no time.

5. Check Out Clarity Coding Tutorials

There are a number of tutorials out there to jumpstart your Clarity coding. Try the sBTC Developer Release Tutorial, which will teach you how to build Lagoon, a very basic Bitcoin lending application that allows you to borrow and lend BTC using Clarity smart contracts. This sample app allows users to connect their wallet, convert their BTC to sBTC, and then take that sBTC and deposit it into a lending pool in order to earn interest on it.

sBTC enables you to create a robust DeFi system on top of Bitcoin, rather than needing to go through centralized custodians for wrapped Bitcoin or paying high fees on the L1. Need more examples? Check out tutorials crowdsourced from the Stacks community for more ideas on how to build with NFTs, DEXs, voting and more.

Note: all tutorials are for demo purposes only to illustrate how to build with Clarity smart contracts and should not be used in production.


With these 5 steps under your belt, you’re ready to excel in London. Good luck hacking!

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