Today at 1pm EST Sirius Labs, the company partnered with Chia Network on the upcoming hackathon, took the time to answer some questions from the community about themselves and the contest they are running soon. This is very good, because as a new company that no one has ever heard of there was a lot of concern about trust. The details about the hackathon are available on their website and their github so I won’t go into those too much here, but if you are interested you should check it out.
So I have been trying to talk to the team behind Sirius Labs for a few weeks now, but between personal events, scheduling issues and just plain time-zone differences we hadn’t been able to sit down together so they were gracious enough to give me some time during their AMA to ask some questions. Full disclosure, they did have these questions beforehand as I had been trying to get some answers on discord but I think they answered honestly.
The first was the question of “why”. Why did they choose to put half a million dollars into a development hackathon for a brand new cryptocurrency and I think their answer makes sense. They are a new venture capital firm started by 3 founders, 2 of which were on the call today. They have a passion for environmental technology, but the main focus for their fund is blockchain technology, so Chia was a natural choice. They did not have a pre-existing relationship with Chia Network so they contacted them and pitched them the idea of the hackathon. Chia Network thought it was a great idea but that they needed to fix up their Chialisp documentation first, and now here we are.
As to the prize pool, they are splitting it $100,000 for Asia based teams and $400,000 for the rest of the world. They will decide the winners based on a few criteria points
- Creativity or Originality of the Project, including how does the Proof of Space and Time integrate with your project
- How ready is your project. Does it work? Is it feasible.
- Road to market. What are your plans to attract to get users and expand the community and grow the project.
I don’t think they loved me asking about the Apache2 requirements, because a lot of projects in the cryptocurrency space are licensed with Apache2 – including Chia – but there are always reasons to use a permissive license as well as reasons to use a more copyleft license. The other issue will be integration in any wider GPLv2 projects where there are issues with Apache because of some of the requirements, I think around patentability.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the Apache2 license. I just don’t like forcing it on people since I can take your code, include it in my commercial project and sell that without even any attribution outside a NOTICE file. That is generally the purpose of permissive licensing and it is a good fit for a lot of projects, but not all projects. Minor gripe maybe, but it leaves no actual requirement for them to work with project creators after the fact – they can legally just take your project and idea and go to market themselves.
All in all I was really happy with this AMA, and I am usually not a fan. They were very transparent and will be posting (or have posted) all the financial transaction evidence showing they are prepared to pass out this money. It looks like it will be paid out in Ether.
Check out the entire AMA below, I think its important for anyone that is thinking of signing up.