Protect Privacy hackathon winners and recap

Gitcoin’s Protect Privacy Hackathon wrapped up last week, and the ECC team is so grateful to have been involved. The initiative helped broaden the Zcash developer community, and we were lucky to meet some talented and creative people.

ECC was one of eight sponsors for the event, and Zcash ended up in the top three projects for bounty submissions. In our first major initiative on an Ethereum-based platform, hackers leveraged ECC’s mobile wallet SDKs and Zcash libraries to build shielded applications on top of Zcash.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin joined us as a guest judge for this event, along with Andre Serrano, Bradley Miller and David Campbell from ECC. 

“I’m happy to see so many projects building on top of Zcash and improving the state of our privacy technology,” Buterin said. “I look forward to more collaboration between the Zcash and Ethereum ecosystems.”

The creativity shown in the projects was impressive. Interestingly, almost every submission leveraged the use of Zcash’s shielded memo in their applications. As Miller pointed out, the memo field is a powerful feature of Zcash and has become a method for creating useful and unique features beyond only the transfer of value.

“These hackathon submissions really underline the fact that the memo field can be a method of bringing more programmability to Zcash and all of its privacy benefits.”


Fourteen hackers started work on Zcash projects, which included bounties for documentation, bug fixes, localization, as well as a grand prize bounty for apps leveraging shielded Zcash. The judging criteria is here. In the end, we received 10 submissions. Projects and winners are listed in the table below.

Nestor BonillaZActProtect Privacy with Shielded Zcash$2,000
Nestor BonillaZActCommunity ChoiceSwag bag
Nestor BonillaZActMost CreativeZneakers
Little ZigySend ZcashProtect Privacy with Shielded Zcash$500
Aaron JarmilloZperProtect Privacy with Shielded Zcash$500
NightHawkNightHawkHonorable mention$50
NanditConsult-PrivHonorable mention$50
Abdel AzlinkOnramping documentation For Zcash developers$100
Yacare555linkMake IOS ECC Wallet localizable$100
Jelle HelsenlinkBug fixes$50
T MullenlinkBug fixes$50
Crystal PonylinkBug fixes$50
Crystal PonylinkBug fixes$100
Crystal PonylinkBug fixes$50

Grand Prize: ZAct

ZAct is an app for coordinating events and protests. It requires users to be in proximity to an event to gather further information. It leverages shielded memos, the Android SDK, geofencing, and an interesting use of the seed phrase to limit access to the event information. The submission had strong documentation and presentation, as well as detailed instructions on how to build a working demo. ZAct also won awards for Community Choice and Most Creative. 

Runner up: Send-Zcash

Send-Zcash is a fiat-to-Zcash payment-request system integrated with Payscale (an African payment settlement platform with ties into mobile money providers). This submission scored points for having a working(ish) demo and identifying an existing user pain point with fiat on-ramps and off-ramps. Judges viewed this submission as a solid entry with potential impact in the market.

Runner up: Zper

Zper creates a paywall for content utilizing shielded Zcash, memos and RSA keys. This unique and useful idea could be a real product for “anonymous” content purchases and publishers.


The ECC Wallet team hacked on a project of its own. Zircles empowers groups to save money together in pursuit of a common goal. This savings circle built on Zcash allowed the team to experiment with viewing keys, shielded memo fields and mobile/SMS payments.


Kudos to all the teams who participated during the hackathon. The work was impressive, and we’re looking forward to continued developer collaboration in the Zcash community.

Note: Speaking of continued collaboration, Gitcoin Grants has announced plans to integrate with Zcash in Q3, which will provide community developers with an alternative source of funding for Zcash community projects.

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