ETHIndia + zkBob was 👍 🔥 👍

Hackathons are full of energy and ideas, and ETHIndia was a whirlwind from start to finish, for sponsors, speakers and of course the builders! The organizers did a commendable job setting more than 2000 attendees up for success, despite the uncooperative wifi.

We were psyched to see so many fresh faces representing the next generation of web3 application developers. Change is in the air, and many coders with web2 backgrounds are making the leap to web3. It was exciting to be a part of it and we look forward to many future hackathons in the upcoming year.

Before we get to the recap, we want to acknowledge the winners of our hackathon prizes totaling $10,000 BOB!

Project Winners

zkFundRaise - $2000 BOB

A fundraising app that allows for creation of anonymous campaigns where users can donate funds anonymously. This app makes it easy to create a campaign and fund a campaign using the zkBob API.

zkPay - $2000 BOB

A payment gateway that allows buyers and sellers to exchange value anonymously without disclosing any personally identifiable information.

zkPayroll - $2000 BOB

zkPayroll allows DAOs, corporations, and Individuals to generate invoices and salary payments using the BOB stablecoin. This is an important use case for maintaining privacy for employers and employees working in different contexts.

zkJob- $2000 BOB

Create resumes, hire, and pay salaries with a single wallet, all without adding personal information.

Liria - $500 BOB

Privacy preserving and secure donations to writers and whistle blowers, preserving rights for those who may not be able to speak freely.

zkKYC - $500 BOB

Integration with zkBob and PolygonID for zk kyc services.


DACRJ - $500 BOB

Platform for journalists to publish uncensorable news and maintain privacy.

Web3Patreon - $500 BOB

An anonymous platform for subscribers of web content and videos, allowing subscribers to keep their details private.

zkBob team at ETHIndia


1 week before: Get zkBob API MVP ready for the road

zkBob was first designed as a standalone application which constructs zero knowledge proofs locally on a user’s machine. For the hackathon, we put together an API MVP so users could incorporate zkBob directly into their projects. It’s semi-custodial, but provides an easy way to access, play, and experiment with basic zk operations. We’ll expand this API for future hackathons to include multiple addresses and more robust functionality.

2 days before: Arrive in India and present at the Gweithering on zkBob.

We got to India just in time for Igor to present at the Gweithering , a superb event put on by our friends at Biconomy, Superblock, and Frontier. There were lots of interesting projects in attendance and the outdoor party was a chance to mingle and get into the vibe.

1 day before: Pick up t shirts, visit temples and prepare for the hack.

We had 1 day to center our minds before the upcoming chaos. We toured Bangalore a bit and stopped to pick up t-shirts and stickers. As it turns out we’d ordered way less than we needed, and zkBob shirts ended up as a rare trait shirt for hackers. Live and learn, we’ll be swagged out next time!

Day 1: Manning a busy booth

We ordered more t-shirts, ran out of them again, and talked with a bunch of amazing young hackers! We met many projects interested in integrating privacy, saw old friends, and met some new ones.

We finally had a chance to sit with the awesome team at Li.Fi and talked more about our upcoming widget integration. They were one of the first teams to engage with zkBob and we’re looking forward to doing more things together. We also talked with Push protocol and will explore adding push notifications to the zkBob interface.

It was great to spend some time with the Polygon team at the hackathon and we were able to swing by the Polygon Connect event as well, which was action packed. We are currently exploring ways to integrate PolygonID with zkBob to help privacy and KYC live together in perfect harmony!

Day 2: Booths and presentations, presentations, workshops and booths

Kirill presented a workshop on the zkBob API and showed hackers how to easily incorporate the REST API into an application using our Insomnia playbook. 

There’s so much interest in zk protocols, and zkBob is establishing itself as an easy and friendly gateway to access the zk Universe. From our perspective, responsible privacy is the next big thing needed for blockchain adoption, and we’re right where we want to be with zkBob.

Day 3: Hackathon judging

The teams that chose to build with zkBob were outstanding, including use cases for private donations, payroll, hiring and journalism. Project details are at the beginning of the article, be sure to check them out!

Day 4: Sleep, eat, sleep, repeat

Resting quarters during the hackathon
Resting quarters during the hackathon

The hackathon was amazing and exhausting, and just like the hacking teams out there we took Monday to get some delicious food and well deserved rest.

A few days later: Pay the winners

It was satisfying to make payouts to the zkBob hackers using zkBob! We were able to use the multisender feature to pay everyone (a total of $10,000 BOB sent) for a single  $0.10 transaction fee.

Feedback and Observations

The hackers provided us with some excellent feedback about v1 of the zkBob cloud API which will help us create a better experience next time around. There were a few bugs with sync and tx creation we were able to squash quickly thanks to user feedback. In general the API worked smoothly with a few hiccups that delayed some transactions. Hackers were appreciative for a ready-made zk solution they could start integrating immediately.

A few additional observations from our team.

  • It’s clear that privacy is a financial primitive. It should be the default with an option to reveal as needed. zkBob and other zk technologies are making this idea a reality.

  • There was “bearly” a mention of the bear market, the build market was in full force. This is one reason we love hackathons!

  • Maybe we’re just getting older, but it feels like the next generation of crypto coders has arrived.

  • Polygon supporters are off the hook! We’re excited to be building on this network which is making all the right moves for the future of blockchain.

  • We need to up our booth & swag game considerably. We were blown away by some of the booths and quality merch and swag at ETHIndia.

  • Responsible privacy (ie privacy with some compliance baked in) is the next big thing in blockchain.

All in all it was an invigorating hackathon and we’re ready for a year of building, improvements, and zkAdoption. Make sure you visit the zkBob booth at the next hackathon you attend - we’ll see you there!

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