ETHGlobal Tokyo 2023 🇯🇵

Highlights from our first in-person event of 2023, and our very first event in East Asia!

9 min readApr 21, 2023
70% of our audience came from Asia and more than 400 local Japanese hackers joined us for the weekend

ETHGlobal Tokyo marked the beginning of the 2023 hackathon season, and it was nothing short of spectacular! With over 1500 attendees, 311 projects, and more than $350,000 in prizes up for grabs, it was an unforgettable event. This was our first foray into East Asia, and we were thrilled to have launched our first-ever Hacker Cafe and Pragma Summit! The excitement was palpable as we eagerly awaited the outcomes of this event, which will undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of the year.

ETHGlobal Tokyo tl;dr

👥 1,500+ Total Attendees
🙋‍♂️ 1070 Hackers
🐣 35% New to Web3
🛠 311 Projects Submitted
👯 38 Ecosystem Partners
💸 $375,000+ / ¥50,000,000+ in Prizes
🌍 59 Countries Represented
🏆 11 Finalists

🎟️ The ETHGlobal Tokyo Hacker Café and Pragma

ETHGlobal Tokyo was the flagship event that launched the long-awaited Hacker Café and Pragma events, designed to make the hackathon experience even better for all involved.

The Hacker Cafe was a hit, providing a great platform for participants to socialize and exchange ideas over a cup of coffee before the event. At the same time, the top floor of a nearby skyscraper hosted the exclusive Pragma event, where renowned speakers like Balaji Srinivasan or Aya Miyaguchi delivered thought-provoking talks. Attendees had ample networking opportunities in a venue that looked like the headquarters of an action movie hero.

Kartik Talwar and Aya Miyaguchi on stage

🗓️ The ETHGlobal Tokyo Kick Off & First Day

ETHGlobal Tokyo 2023 was a highly anticipated event that brought together talented hackers from around the world. As soon as the doors opened, and attendees eagerly poured into the venue to collaborate and create with others within the ecosystem.

We are finally back with our in-person events for 2023!

To keep the hackers engaged and energized, a wide variety of workshops were offered at ETHGlobal Tokyo 2023. Workshops such as “Global Proof of Personhood in the Age of AI” with Miguel Piedrafita from Worldcoin and “A 30 Minute DApp” with Jeff Wentworth from Curvegrid drew crowds of enthusiastic hackers. The corridors were always bustling with attendees trying to secure a priority seat for their preferred workshop. Attendees were buzzing with excitement, and even the walls seemed to hum with the energy of the event. We saw attendees hurrying to their next workshop as our amazing workshop hosts had back to back fantastic content and hands-on, practical advice for their projects in store for them for the entire afternoon.

The Opening Ceremony signified the start of the hackathon engineering the excitement of all participants hailing from 59 countries into the melting pot of ideas and perspectives. From the seasoned veteran to the wide-eyed newcomer, the hackers excitedly got to hacking. And with so much talent in one place, the possibilities for web3 innovation were limitless.

Kartik Talwar explaining the hackathon logistics to set our hackers up for success

The day came to a close with the Team Formation and Brainstorming session. It was amazing to see hackers share their skills, aspirations, and desired impact at the hackathon. Watching groups form to bring their ideas to life was inspiring, and everyone was fully engaged in their hacking endeavour’s with newfound confidence and teammates. If you’re new to hacking, you should definitely check out what they’re all about!

🗓️ Saturday — Day 2 is here!

Saturday morning and the energy is still high! Hackers, fueled by coffee and anticipation, were fully focused on bringing their dream projects to life. But before they dive into the coding marathon, we kicked off the day with something new to the ETHGlobal Hackathons — the Enterprise Stage. We invited top Japanese Web2 professionals from local tech giants to give talks on the latest trends in blockchain and web3, broadening the hackers’ horizons beyond the confines of their usual ecosystem.

Representatives of some of the biggest tech cooperations joined us on Saturday morning
Ms. Waka Itagaki, Deputy Director, Web3.0 Policy Office at the Ministry of Economy giving a speech

The event also honoured Japan’s cuisine by serving a wide variety of delicious food, from traditional Japanese snacks and desserts to amazing bento boxes, ensuring that hackers were never left hungry.

As the afternoon wore on, the 5th Floor of Toronamon Hills was buzzing with the sound of hackers giving their all to their projects. Some were holed up in quiet corners with their teams while, others took a well-deserved break from their screens to explore the Origami workshop, led by Tomo from the Ethereum Foundation.

The workshop was a definite highlight of the day, and it was clear from the looks on everyone’s faces that they were enjoying themselves. As Tomo Saito led the group through the delicate folds and intricate shapes, there was a tangible sense of calm in the air. And by the end of the workshop, everyone who had attended left feeling a sense of peace and tranquility that was hard to come by in the hustle and bustle of the hackathon.

The Infinite Garden of Origami

⏳ Day 3: Countdown to the Deadline!

As the final day of the hackathon dawned, the dedicated hackers were glued to their screens, hunching over their keyboards and sinking deeper into their chairs. With the looming deadline for the final submissions, a palpable tension filled the air. Some were feverishly typing away, while others soaked in the festive atmosphere of the final countdown. As the final seconds ticked away, a collective sigh of relief filled the room, signaling the end of their hackathon journey.

While some hackers took a well-deserved break to catch some shut-eye or refuel with lunch, you could feel the electric mix of nerves, anticipation, and excitement pulsed through each group as they anxiously awaited the judges’ decision.

The tension in the air was palpable as our incredible line up of judges helped define all final 11 groups and partner prizes winners.

The closing ceremony was underway, and the energy was electric as people gathered to celebrate what had been an incredible hackathon. As each finalist took the stage to present their innovative ideas, the crowd erupted with audible “ooo’s” and “aaa’s”. Kartik then took the stage to reveal the remaining prize winners, causing a consistent wave of celebration and applause to fill the room.

👏 The finalists

ETHGlobal Tokyo was an incredible event that showcased the exceptional vision and skill of the brightest minds in the web3 world. Through tireless efforts and dedication, the Finalists presented the most promising and exciting builds of our generation, and it was a privilege to witness their achievements. We can’t wait to see what they will accomplish next and how they will shape the future of the web3 ecosystem.

Explore the impressive list of the 11 finalists from ETHGlobal Tokyo below, and don’t forget to browse through the extensive showcase featuring all 311 innovative projects.

Share the Finalists Twitter Thread:

🤩 POMPoarding
The easiest way to onboard communities to web3 through a simple type form.
The Team: @miyahzhang, @hackwithzach

🎙️ ZKVoiceKey
ZKVoiceKey is a protocol that allows users to recover their private keys using only their voice; by using Fuzzy Commit and ZKP, authentication is possible through a fuzzy match of voice without storing voice information directly on the blockchain.
The Team: @Masa_Ukov, @taskooh, @SoraSue77, @sheagrief

A security pipeline that securely moves assets between EOA, Contract Wallet, and Cold Wallet.
The Team: @enu_kuro, @0xvon__, @horobi_gengar

AokiApp NFT
AokiApp NFT is a full-onchain NFT collection. It introduce a new image compression technology suited for mass-production NFTs, and achieves image decompression and manipulation on EVM.
The Team: @missmonacoin

🐙 Octoplorer
Octoplorer is an AI-powered blockchain explorer (for Ethereum and Polygon) that makes querying blockchain data as easy as typing in natural language.
The Team: Lam Trinh, @wilsonplau , @j0xnvm, @ndreij, @ukcw_

🌸 Myna
Browser wallet for Japanese residents that lets them use their government issued ID (My Number Card) as a hardware wallet.
The Team: @hm0429, @7pastelblackcat, Dan Yumoto, @yskmksy

A protocols that allows web3 communities to generate revenue from advertising, without censorship.
The Team: @allenday, @akirawuc, @darkkpower

💚 AbswapX
An automation module to enable limit orders and scheduled strategies for DeFi.
The Team: @timbresociety, @mbcse50

🦝 Tanuki
Tanuki is a trustless wallet scoring protocol. It uses ZKP’s to trustlessly read historical on-chain activity to calculate wallet scores. Wallet scores are modular enabling use cases like paymasters with loyalty-based subsidies and lending protocols with variable rates.
The Team: @ac_crypto, @mo_baioumy, @danxtao, @konrad_gnat

YORU is a privacy-preserving DApp for social crypto payment. YORU leverages account abstraction and stealth address to make a token transfer. Token is sent to a one-time address, which is owned by the receiver and only known by the sender and the receiver.
The Team: Chen Jhong, @Randylien, Zeqing Guo, @changwu_tw, Hsiu-Ping Lin

🎮 SuperPlay
Your gateway to web3 gaming. Hassle-free onboarding with email registration and gas-less transactions with Safe and Superfluid.
The Team: @0xmoriki, @billwu1999, @rashmivabbigeri, @leohhhn

🍾 Ending off the ETHGlobal Tokyo with a bang!

If you were still up for more festivities, the ETHGlobal Tokyo Afterparty was the perfect place to be! Hosted by Safe, this event brought together a lively mix of hackers, sponsors, mentors, and other attendees to reflect on the incredible experience, share their thoughts on the finalists, and continue discussing their projects and upcoming events. With drinks flowing freely for everyone, the night was filled with enthusiastic conversations and joyful chatter that went on well into the evening.

🤲 We need to say “Thank You!”

The success of our grand-scale event owes its gratitude to the dedication of our network of Partner teams, support staff, tech mentors, judges, volunteers, and the esteemed Japanese web3 community. It is with sincere appreciation that we recognize their inspiration and contribution towards realizing this vision. From the very beginning, our goal has been to cultivate an inclusive ecosystem for developers to explore the possibilities of web3, and we are happy to say that the significance of ETHGlobal Tokyo is furthering this mission.

Up Next: ETHGlobal Lisbon! 🇵🇹

Join us in the vibrant city of Lisbon, Portugal for an unforgettable experience! If you couldn’t make it to Tokyo, don’t worry — this is your chance to join an amazing community of developers and creatives in the hub of digital nomads.

Our upcoming event, taking place from May 12th-14th, 2023, is not to be missed. We have an array of amazing prizes worth more than $250,000 USD, and our community is excited to offer valuable insights and resources to help you take your skills to the next level. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect, collaborate, and innovate with the best and brightest builders in the industry at our second round of Hacker Cafe and Pragma Lisbon.

Apply to hack at:
Apply to attend Pragma Lisbon here:

The ETHGlobal Team 💙




Onboarding thousands of developers to the Ethereum ecosystem. Supported by L4, SV Angel, and the Ethereum Foundation.