Unlock Protocol x ETHGlobal New York '23

Unlock Ambassador Lana Dingwall shares her experience at the ETHGlobal New York 2023 hackathon, which drew over 1300 participants.

By Lana Dingwall on

the booth

Editor's note: This is a crosspost from Lana's original post on Mirror. After reading, we highly recommend you mint & collect it there!

ETHGlobal New York was a 3-day, 36-hour hackathon that was jam-packed with fun builders energy

If you’ve never been, a web3 hackathon is an event where developers, designers, project managers, business development folks, product designers and innovators come together to create decentralized applications (dApps), and blockchain-based solutions, and explore the potential of web3 technologies. Participants typically collaborate in teams (of up to 5) to build innovative projects that leverage blockchain, smart contracts, and decentralized protocols. These hackathons often involve coding challenges, workshops, and opportunities to learn and network with experts in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. The goal is to foster creativity and accelerate the development of decentralized solutions for various industries and use cases.

I typically attend as a hacker, but this time had the opportunity to be an ambassador for Unlock Protocol, helping teams who wanted to learn more about their technology and how best to implement it into their project.

Unlock Ambassador

This was a full circle moment for me, as last year I participated in the ETHGlobal New York hackathon and my team's project won a second-place prize with Unlock. Being on the other side of the booth was a new experience for me, and one I am deeply grateful for. I know what it’s like to be sleep-deprived and trying to bring everything together in time for the submission deadline. Being able to support and mentor teams with their projects was a refreshing and fun experience.

On top of getting to work with Julien and Patrick from the Unlock team, I was fortunate enough to meet Alejandro. He is a founder and Unlock community member building out a New York events dApp called Nameless using Unlock Protocol in the backend.

One of the things I love about Unlock is that it doesn’t need to take center stage in your application. I tested out the Nameless dApp and I would have never known I was using a blockchain-powered site, just the way Alejandro built it.

In other words, you can build a normie in the front, crypto in the back application while leveraging Unlock’s tech stack.

An event from Nameless.nyc

An event from Nameless.nyc

This year ETHGlobal New York had over 990 hackers and saw 330 submissions.

Unlock Protocol arguably had the best location because the booth faced the water, thank you ETHGlobal team for that.

Julien, the Founder of Unlock Protocol also gave a workshop at the hackathon on integrating membership smart contracts which you can find here.

The view from the Unlock Protocol Booth

The view from the Unlock Protocol Booth

The TLDR on Unlock Protocol

Open-source and purpose-built, with a small core team and an active DAO.

Smart contracts that are built specifically for memberships and subscriptions of all kinds.

Their dynamic smart contract NFTs allow you to add time constraints, update pricing, and handle recurring payments, either in crypto or fiat.

A slide on what makes Unlocks tech stack so much more than just a basic NFT

A slide on what makes Unlocks tech stack so much more than just a basic NFT

Since Unlock’s use cases include event ticketing, recurring subscriptions, time-based memberships, certifications and credentials, gaming, loyalty programs, attendance NFTs, and digital collectibles that all have crypto or fiat, wallet or email sign-up capabilities there are a number of ways you can integrate Unlock.

Here is a very simplified list of ways you could use their tech stack in your project.

  1. Decentralized Event Ticketing Platform: Create a platform or simply embed a feature where event organizers can sell tickets as NFTs, allowing attendees to securely own and transfer their event tickets. This could include features like secondary ticket markets and anti-scalping measures.

  2. Recurring Subscription Service: Build a subscription service where content creators or businesses can offer exclusive content or services in exchange for recurring payments in cryptocurrency. Unlock could manage subscription access.

  3. Time-Based Membership Communities: Create membership communities that grant access based on a time-based subscription model. Users pay with crypto to access exclusive content or communities for a specified duration.

  4. Certification and Credential Verification: Develop a system for verifying and sharing professional certifications and credentials as NFTs. This could be particularly useful in industries like education and job recruitment.

  5. Blockchain-Based Gaming: Incorporate Unlock into blockchain games to offer in-game items, characters, or access to special features as NFTs. Gamers can purchase, trade, and own these assets.

  6. Loyalty and Rewards Programs: Implement a loyalty program that rewards customers with loyalty NFTs. These NFTs could represent loyalty points or special privileges within a business ecosystem.

  7. Attendance NFTs for Virtual Events: Create NFTs for virtual event attendance. Attendees receive NFTs that grant them access to virtual events, and these NFTs can be traded or sold.

  8. Digital Collectibles Marketplace: Build a marketplace for digital collectibles as NFTs. Users can buy, sell, and trade digital artwork, cards, or other collectibles securely using the Unlock protocol.

  9. Charity and Donation Platform: Enable donors to receive unique NFTs as a form of acknowledgment for their contributions. These NFTs could also grant access to exclusive charity-related events or content.

  10. Tokenized Certification for Online Courses: Develop a platform for online courses where certifications are issued as NFTs. This ensures the authenticity and transferability of certifications.

Some developer tooling resources

Some developer tooling resources

36 hours, 15 submitted projects

Within the tight timeframe of the 36-hour hackathon, Unlock Protocol received a solid turnout, with 15 projects submitted, and an impressive 14 of them directly presenting their ideas at our booth. These projects covered a diverse spectrum of categories, spanning from Defi and DAOs to healthcare and daycare solutions, as well as innovative applications in decentralized science and identity management. Additionally, one showcased a tailored React library designed specifically for integrating with the Unlock Protocol.

Here are the top three prize-winning projects.

🔒 UnleashTheLock took home the first-place prize



A React library to facilitate integration with Unlock Protocol subscriptions.

Since most frontends are built using React, the most efficient way for a developer to add functionality is by installing a library. That's exactly what UnleashTheLock offers—a customizable widget that allows developers to easily integrate Unlock Protocol subscriptions into their frontends. Simply install the library and set your custom properties—no more external checkout links or mismatched HTML iframes.

In the spirit of Y Combinator, think of UnleashTheLock as the Uniswap widget for Unlock Protocol.

You can deeper into UnleashTheLock here.

The UnleashTheLock team

The UnleashTheLock team

🦄 Fixed Protocol took home second-place

Fixed Protocol

Fixed Protocol

Fixed is a subscription-based, zero-cost trading product on Uniswap for stable swaps designed to increase capital efficiency and limit sandwich attacks. Using Uniswap Hooks, Unbound and Safe, Fixed allows traders to pay a subscription to access 0 fee stable pools with no gas fees

You can dive deeper into Fixed Protocol here.

The Fixed Protocol team featuring Julien

The Fixed Protocol team featuring Julien

📽️ Engage took home third-place



Engage provides a platform for creators to interact with their audience and track useful analytics.

Engage is an innovative platform designed to revolutionize the content creation industry by fostering deeper connections between content creators and their audiences. Engage provides a two-fold solution: a dedicated side dashboard for content creators and a dynamic viewer dashboard. This comprehensive platform aims to empower creators, enhance viewer engagement, and create a thriving ecosystem for content creation.

You can dive deeper into Engage here.

The Engage team

The Engage team

Builder Energy

In my opinion what makes hackathons so exciting is all the builder energy. The ideas, the problem-solving, the inspiration and the desire to build something impactful. What was obvious from being an ambassador for Unlock and speaking with so many hackers about their projects is that there is no shortage of ways Unlock Protocol can be integrated into a project.

ETHGlobal New York 2023 embodied the fast-paced, exciting energy of the web3 ecosystem, bringing together a diverse array of talented builders and innovators. The hackathon showcased the potential of Unlock Protocol, offering a wide range of integration possibilities across industries, from Defi and DAOs to healthcare and daycare solutions, as well as innovative applications in decentralized science and identity management.

The event's top projects, including UnleashTheLock, Fixed Protocol, and Engage, demonstrated the innovative applications that can be achieved with Unlock, reaffirming its position as a versatile and impactful tool in the web3 toolkit. The hackathon's spirit of innovation, problem-solving, and collaboration left no doubt that the web3 landscape is teeming with opportunities for those willing to explore and create, making it an exciting and promising frontier for the future of technology.

Lana Dingwall is a business coach for socially and spiritually conscious entrepreneurs and is an Unlock Ambassador. You can find Lana's full online presence at https://lanadingwall.com.