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2023-05-18 16:26:13

IOVLabs Launches $2.5 Million Grants Program and Scaling Bitcoin Hackathon to Introduce New Innovators

IOVLabs Launches $2.5 Million Grants Program and Scaling Bitcoin Hackathon to Introduce New Innovators

Miami, USA, May 17th, 9 AM ET – IOVLabs, a leading global blockchain technology company, is proud to announce the commencement of a strategic grants program valued at $2.5 million. This program aims to further advance the progress and adoption of Rootstock, the world's pioneering Bitcoin sidechain that has become a thriving hub for decentralized finance (DeFi) activities on the Bitcoin network.

Introducing the Grants Program and Hackathon

IOVLabs unveiled this exciting program at the inaugural Bitcoin Builders Conference in Miami, an innovative event dedicated to Bitcoin Layer 1 and Layer 2 developers.

To identify eligible candidates for the grant program, IOVLabs has also launched a Hackathon in collaboration with HackerEarth, a global community of over 4 million developers.

The Hackathon will take place from May to July and will consist of an ideation stage, a development stage, and a final presentation to a panel of esteemed judges from the Bitcoin and Rootstock ecosystems. Developers from all around the world are invited to participate.

Building on Rootstock's Advantages

Thanks to Rootstock's compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), developers can build decentralized applications (dApps) and integrations on the network without prior knowledge. They can leverage familiar solidity tools and libraries such as Hardhat, Truffle, web3.js, and ethers.js.

Participating in the Hackathon not only offers the chance to qualify for the $2.5 million grant program but also presents the opportunity to win prizes totaling over $25,000.

The Hackathon's judging panel includes Sergio Lerner and Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar, Co-founders of Rootstock, as well as representatives from Sovryn and Tropykus, key players in the Rootstock ecosystem.

Empowering Developers with Resources

Developers can take advantage of the extensive resources provided by Rootstock's DevPortal and integrate RIF's pre-built open-source protocols into their existing and future projects.

Expanding the Possibilities of Bitcoin

This initiative by IOVLabs is part of a broader effort to expand the possibilities of Bitcoin beyond being solely a store of value and transform the ecosystem into a fully functional financial system. IOVLabs aims to achieve this by supporting established financial institutions in building and launching Web3 products, as well as assisting entrepreneurs and innovators through hackathons and grants.

Pei Chen, VP of Growth at IOVLabs, expressed his enthusiasm for the strategic grants program, stating, "IOVLabs' endorsement of the strategic grants program reflects our strong commitment to equipping developers with the necessary tools to establish a truly decentralized financial system on the Bitcoin platform. This presents an opportunity for the next generation of developers to utilize the Rootstock sidechain and expand the capabilities of Bitcoin, thereby creating a more liberated and equitable financial system for all."

Focusing on Everyday DeFi

Furthermore, Chen highlighted the importance of accessibility, stating, "Rootstock has rapidly gained recognition as the home of DeFi on Bitcoin. However, we believe it is time to make it accessible to everyone, regardless of their technical expertise. Hence, this year's grant program focuses on Everyday DeFi. This represents the path through which the first billion users will transition to Web3, and together we can make it a reality."

Themes for the Hackathon

The Hackathon and grants program encourages developers to explore various concepts and projects that align with the theme of "Everyday DeFi." These include:

Enhancing interoperability among different blockchains built on or with Bitcoin, such as dApps, bridges, and technical implementations.

Developing user-centric utility to foster effective user engagement, including real-world use cases, compelling DAO governance modules, and data dashboards.

Unlocking new functionality and liquidity for DeFi through strategic integrations of marketplaces, dApps, decentralized exchanges (DEXes), aggregators, wallets, on/off ramps, and oracles.

Offering Hackathon Bounties for Rootstock infrastructure and tooling, focusing on enhancing the foundational tools and resources for sustainable ecosystems, such as compiler support, software development kits (SDKs), libraries, node-as-a-service, merge mining, and rollups.

The Bitcoin Builders Conference

The Bitcoin Builders Conference, scheduled for May 17th in Miami, will provide developers and innovators with hands-on workshops, panel discussions with engineering leaders, and insightful industry keynotes. The conference will also showcase the latest development tools for Bitcoin.

Daniel Fogg, President of IOVLabs, expressed his excitement about the conference, stating, "With the Bitcoin Builders Conference underway, I am thrilled to witness how developers harness Bitcoin's potential to address everyday challenges faced by individuals worldwide. IOV Labs firmly believes that Bitcoin sidechains like Rootstock will play a pivotal role in onboarding the first billion users to the realm of crypto. This conference serves as an opportunity to celebrate our progress thus far while acknowledging the work that lies ahead. Every network has its strengths, and Rootstock, revolves around utilizing Bitcoin to create a more accessible and fairer financial system for everyone. By combining EVM compatibility with Bitcoin's unmatched security, Rootstock provides developers with a trusted network capable of supporting the financial futures of people worldwide, regardless of their economic status."

Advancing Bitcoin's Future

Both the grants program and the Hackathon aim to motivate developers to build on the Bitcoin platform by leveraging the smart contract capabilities of its Rootstock sidechain. This initiative assists in safeguarding Bitcoin's future by enhancing its long-term value proposition and promoting the use of sidechains for complex transactions, thereby addressing the ongoing congestion issues on the primary network.

The $2.5 million grants program is fully funded by IOV Labs, further contributing to the development of Rootstock, a decentralized blockchain protocol.

Rootstock's Growth and Impact

Rootstock's usage continues to grow, with over $400 million in Total Value Locked (TVL) and more than 60 protocols in its ecosystem.

About IOVlabs

IOVlabs is actively developing the necessary blockchain technologies for a new global financial ecosystem that promotes opportunity, transparency, and trust. The organization actively contributes to the development of the Rootstock blockchain and the Rootstock Infrastructure Framework (RIF).

About Rootstock

Rootstock stands as the world's most secure, permissionless, and censorship-resistant Bitcoin sidechain. It provides EVM-compatible smart contract functionality using Bitcoin as its native asset. Rootstock transforms Bitcoin from a mere store of value into the foundation of a comprehensive decentralized financial system.

Rootstock's native token, RBTC, known as "Smart Bitcoin," allows users to utilize their BTC for interacting with various services on the Rootstock Bitcoin Layer 2. RBTC maintains an exact 1:1 peg with BTC. When users transfer Bitcoin into Rootstock, their Bitcoin is locked, and an equivalent amount of RBTC is released. For more information, please visit the IOVlabs website.

Rootstock emerges as the leading Bitcoin sidechain, boasting unparalleled security, a permissionless framework, and resistance to censorship. It goes beyond being a mere store of value by incorporating EVM-compatible smart contract capabilities, all while leveraging Bitcoin as its native asset.

At the core of Rootstock lies its native token, RBTC, often referred to as "Smart Bitcoin." This innovative currency empowers users to seamlessly interact with a diverse range of services offered on the Rootstock Bitcoin Layer 2. The remarkable aspect of RBTC is its unwavering 1:1 peg with BTC, meaning that 1 RBTC holds the same value as 1 BTC. Whenever users transfer their Bitcoin into Rootstock, their funds become locked, while an equivalent amount of RBTC is simultaneously released.


To facilitate smart contract execution on the network, RBTC serves as the fuel, analogous to how ETH functions as gas on the Ethereum platform. Unlike native tokens on other blockchains, Rootstock ensures non-custodial control, safeguarding Bitcoin's resistance against censorship.

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