HackFS 2021 Recap

8 min readSep 3, 2021

The future of decentralized storage is bright

As the race to commercialize spaceflight took to the sky, another space race was heating up in web3 — measured in terabytes, not tonnes. HackFS 2021 marked a year of explosive growth in the decentralized storage space, bringing together hackers, ecosystem leaders, and innovators from around the world to envision the future of data storage.

HackFS, by the numbers:

🌈 151 Projects

🎙 30 Talks and Workshops

👩🏼 650+ Hackers

🌍 61 Countries

⏳ 18 Time Zones

🌟 12 Finalists

HackFS brought a distributed community together online — 61 countries & 18 timezones represented

For three weeks, our hackers collaborated on projects that would push the boundaries of decentralized storage. We were inspired by the talent and dedication displayed by each of teams. Our 12 HackFS Finalists were chosen from a pool over 151 projects, each impressive in their own regard. Dozens more went on to receive prizes from our sponsors, being rewarded for their ingenuity and implementation.

The Finalists:

🔭 Discovery:

“Discovery educates and onboards users and developers into the future of the web through collaboration and gamification.”

Discovery’s @Huxwell_ explaining the platform

The team: @Mikewiththe_L, @huxwell_, @alpergintr, @Jpick713, @giovannifulin

Why we liked it: An interesting build that employing a quest-based model that rewards users for learning, perfect for onboarding the next generation of web3 developers!


“The first-ever cooperative tile-based NFT art marketplace.”

The Coopart live demo

Why we liked it: A forward-thinking use of DAOs to create NFTs and manage their sales, complete with a compelling user interface.


“The Data Wallet hosts social graphs of trusted people, so that any dApp can load data curated by specific communities. The 🥂 BYOF Marketplace (Bring-your-own-frontend) uses the 👛 The Data Wallet to load decentralized UIs for each dApp, from a user’s trusted communities.”

The Bring-Your-Own-Frontend Marketplace in action

The team: @nico_valencia, @katyjeremko, @edderrd, @gusalfarog

What we thought was cool: Allows dApps and users to effectively proxy trust, increasing efficiency by decreasing friction.


“A short term file transfer tooling for Web 3. This simple Dapp can be used for quick and UX friendly file transfers on IPFS/Filecoin made for the everyday user, for free!”

The Ferry Dashboard in action

The team: @artusmichal, @Sydney60601921, @Nebbit123

What we loved: A decentralized solution to an everyday problem with an impressive implementation of IPFS, a true personification of the HackFS spirit.


“A proposition to leverage Filecoin, IPLD schemas and the Fluence network to organize data processing pipeline in open contexts, foster collaboration and data re-usability.”

The Fragment Dashboard live demo

The team: @IBlackPenguin, @polyphenehq

What stood out: A creative attempt to solve an ongoing problem with data storage and processing with an impressive build.

🃏Ventura Protocol

“Crowdsourced NFT wish-list, where anyone who pledges gets a % of the sale”

Ventura Protocol in action during the HackFS Finale

The team: @georgety, @MichaelDaigler, @hrsandrew

What we liked: This build created a crowd-based incentive for the creation of new NFT works, allowing buy-in at earlier stages of the process, and rewarding collaboration through dividends.


“Democratize research using a decentralized peer-review mechanism, reputation system of scientists, validators & papers, and a citations indexer.”

Walking through the paper submission process during the ScholarDAO live demo

The team: @ImRajdeepB, @sunchain_, @AJakkli, @cuong_qnom

What interested us: We were impressed by the way this build tackled the problems of the scientific publishing establishment by coupling together a peer-review and reputation management system to certify new work.


“Xirva (pronounced Kirva) is the decentralized version of Arxiv. Publish, store and share your scientific papers using IPFS.”

Xirva in action at HackFS

What we loved: A censorship-resistant update to a popular publishing platform complete with a clean and efficient user interface.


“Blockchain play-and-earn game that gives you the opportunity to battle enemies with a mix of Operators and Gun NFTs.”

CryptoShooters live gameplay

The team: @joelcodes, @kd23907, @ryanmyfoo

What we liked: This build employed a creative use of NFTs to represent in-game ownership, all while creating a fun experience for the players.


“A Third-Party Grading and Enrichments Platform for the token metaverse.”

Encasing an NFT on FungyProof

The team: @fungyproof, @cranium7811, @mikepaonam, @rothtron, @carlfarterson

What was cool: Technically impressive build that “encases” the NFT to instill value, similar to grading system used by trading-card collectors.


“A web3 notebook linked to your ENS name. Edit text, upload files and images, and publish to the decentralized web.”

The Doxx interface at the HackFS Finale

The team: @ecmendenhall

What impressed us: Real-time editing functionality built with a decentralized back-end. One day, all of web3 will be this easy to use.


“A decentralized pastebin that allows you to share text and files easily.”

A live demo of Pastepin at the HackFS Finale

What we loved: A censorship-resistant pastebin built with IPFS, furthering web3’s efficiency for everyday users.

HackFS was a celebration of progress in decentralized storage:

Though we’ve all grown tired of hearing the oft-stated tagline of “so much has changed in the past year,” it couldn’t be more apparent in the storage ecosystem. At this time last year, projects like Filecoin were in their infancy, and participants in HackFS were among some of the first to experiment with their potential. 365 days later, a blossoming ecosystem of technologies grows out of the petabytes of decentralized storage now offered.

The rapid growth of the space dominated discussions throughout the event, punctuated by a panel on Decentralized Social Media during the Kick-off — a rekindling of the conversation Vitalik Buterin, Juan Benet, and Balaji Srinivasan had during HackFS last year. The Builder’s Day, and Storage Providers Summits followed them up, featuring topics like Filecoin+ and investment opportunities in the decentralized storage space.

Quick highlights:

The Storage Providers Summit was packed with insights on opportunities in decentralized storage.

Our summits and workshops kept the energy high throughout the hackathon, bringing in hundreds of new viewers to watch live presentations from our esteemed guests. While interesting in their own right, these events delivered actionable insights to hackers working with the nascent technologies in real-time. Considering how much has changed in such a short amount of time, we’re all excited to bring you updates on the ecosystem when we meet again next year!

As always, if you missed any of the talks or workshops, full versions will be available on our Youtube page. Be sure to check out our updated Hack Showcase to see the incredible projects that came out of the past month.

HackFS was only made possible through the efforts of Protocol Labs and our dedicated partners

The incredible sponsor teams that made HackFS 2021 possible.

When Protocol Labs brought up the idea of running a second HackFS, we jumped at the chance. And even though the success of last year’s event was fresh in our minds, we were still blown away by the energy and excitement brought by each and every participant over the past three weeks. HackFS was the result of the dedicated team at Protocol Labs and our other incredible partners as well as our growing community of hackers — new and old.

Events like these take a village, that’s why we want to take a moment to thank the tech mentors, support staff, judges, and partner team members who all took time to engage with our participants and contribute to the success of HackFS. As we move into our fifth year of operation, our team remains optimistic about the future of the ETHGlobal community.

Multiple HackFS teams will walk away from this event with projects that could become budding companies or change the way we interact online. Being even a small part in the creation of these opportunities is humbling, and motivates us to further deliver on our mission to build our ecosystem on developer at a time. Hackers are strongly encouraged to continue building their projects after our events, and we stand by our commitment to connect them with relevant grants and accelerators to help achieve their goals. With the list of ETHGlobal hackathon-teams-turned-partners growing, you might be next…

What’s next:

Our next event is right around the corner! Join us from September 17th — October 15th for the second iteration of ETHOnline, a fully-digital hackathon and summits, and our largest event of the year! As always, come prepared to meet new friends, build new-to-world ideas, and hack the status quo.

Applications are now open, and we want hope to see you there! Follow us on twitter to stay in the know about future events, and share ETHOnline with your friends or potential teammates. You won’t want to miss this one.

See you soon,

The ETHGlobal Team




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