Dr. Craig Wright with students from the University of Exeter

sCrypt Hackathon Project at University of Exeter highlights: How to build smart contracts with scalable blockchain

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Kicking off just three days after the London Blockchain Conference (LBC) wrapped, the sCrypt Hackathon Project ran from June 5-8 at the University of Exeter. After attending the conference in London, Xiaohui Liu and the sCrypt team delivered a bootcamp for Exeter students on how to utilize sCrypt tools to code smart contracts using the BSV blockchain protocol.

The four-day experience was an absolute hit with the students, all incredibly keen to learn how to build smart contracts using the cheapest and most scalable public blockchain protocol on earth.

“We got quite a good overview about our hackathon project for Bitcoin…it included a lot of things. It gave an overview theory including the tutorials, so we got a good insight about everything,” shared one of the students.

Another student said he chose to attend the University of Exeter specifically because of the hackathon project and believes smart contracts are the future.

“We don’t really know about Bitcoin much, but smart contracts is one of the topics that I really liked,” he said.

“It was interesting to know what kind of difference smart contracts based on the Ethereum and smart contracts based on Bitcoin SV particularly, and how we can implement them on BitcoinSV and scale it up in the future,” another student shared.

Dr. Craig Wright, a “surprise guest” for students, traveled to Exeter for a social on the third evening, followed by a panel session and solo speech on the fourth and final day.

“It’s nice to meet some of the finance students and see what they’re doing. It’s great to see people taking the protocol I’ve built in and building something with it,” he said.

Brendan Lee of Elas was in Exeter for the duration of the hackathon as well, helping Xiaohui Liu and the team with student questions and participating in the Day 4 panel.

“I just love seeing that next group of possible Bitcoiners coming through and learning about these tools and what we can do with the blockchain, so just to be here and be introduced to that in some small way is really great,” he said.

Even though it was more of a last-minute call, Todd Price, Curriculum Specialist for BSV Blockchain Association, decided to head to Exeter in between LBC and his trip to the Metanet Workshop in Berlin.

“Xiaohui was really supportive for me to come down and learn some sCrypt. He said, ‘we can get you from zero to hero’—maybe zero to .1 on the way up to hero—but yeah, I just took them up on that offer and checked in with Jack and then came down, and it’s been a great time,” Price said.

The “Jack” Price spoke of is the popular, forward-thinking MSc Fintech Program Director at Exeter who understands the unique potential of BSV blockchain. Professor Jack Rogers has developed a solid rapport with Xiaohui Liu over the past few years and was happy to support the sCrypt hackathon initiative.

“These four days consist of a lot of presentations from Xiaohui. A typical day has been a morning of theory breaking down how Bitcoin works, getting into some details about the UXTO model and how it’s different to Ethereum’s account-based model and the advantages of that and how it scales,” Rogers revealed.

Each afternoon, the students were required to run through practical tasks (with prizes for finishing quickly, of course!) and apply what they learned about sCrypt tooling from Liu and his team.

“It’s one thing to make good tools and APIs, everything ready to go, but it’s another thing to have real people using it to build really cool applications. So that’s what we are here for,” Liu said.

“We have about 70 or 80 students come in every day, and in the morning, early afternoon, we teach them the theory of sCrypt Bitcoin smart contracts. At the end of the day, everybody needs to build some kind of a working prototype,” he confirmed.

“People just constantly have questions, it’s where the rubber hits the road, and people are really excited. So I’m also excited, and we really look forward to what kind of things these young students build out of this,” Liu added.

Both Lee and Dr. Wright agreed that Liu and the sCrypt team have successfully enabled students and professionals—whoever, really—to build using the BSV blockchain with ease.

“Xiaohui’s done an amazing job of putting together a really concise set of tutorials that take the students through sCrypt,” Lee said.

“He’s got a great plan to take them through a series of more and more complex smart contracts, and he’s adding in things like the front end and so really giving them that full picture of everything that they need to start building on BSV today,” Lee added.

“What they’re doing is simplifying the ability to code in the native Bitcoin language, it’s made it a lot easier for people to make applications, and it’s a lot faster and simpler,” Dr. Wright said of sCrypt tooling.

“As we have more people able to develop, then they don’t need to be computer scientists. They can be in other realms and understand what they’re building and create new tools that they’ll think about because they’re not computer scientists. I’m saying that because it’s really the mix of knowledge that makes applications,” Dr. Wright added.

One of the ultimate highlights of the four-day hackathon experience was having the opportunity to interact directly with Dr. Wright in person. He was delighted to spend time with the students at the evening social and during the breaks on the final day because, after all, Dr. Wright is a student himself, and teaching others is his true passion in life.

“I think one of the things that I really liked about [Dr. Wright] is his positive approach, and he’s never afraid of saying what is in his mind, irrespective of what others say,” shared one of the students.

“He was quite inspiring, especially in terms of entrepreneurial. It’s about thinking out of the box and not just challenging the big companies but also trying to replace them and coming up with an idea that’s going to disrupt the whole industry. So I think that’s something that we all are looking forward to work on the hackathon, to maybe build something new,” she said.

Another student said one of the best parts of the four-day project was meeting Dr. Wright, a “giant opportunity,” as he described it.

“I think there was a lot of insight of how the whole concept of Bitcoin could get implemented in a lot of separate industries. He walked us through a lot of different ideas of where you could implement smart contracts and blockchain and the whole use cases of it,” he shared.

Watch: sCrypt makes smart contracts possible on the BSV blockchain

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