Hack for Freedom Retrospective

Hack for Freedom Retrospective
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”

Hack for Freedom

  • 25 projects
  • 52 participants
  • 12+ countries
  • 25,000 ANT in prizes won
  • 2000+ support messages
  • 12 third party app integrations
  • 20+ custom DAO interfaces

In early June we started playing around with the idea of throwing a hackathon to get people building with Aragon Connect which came out in mid-June. The whole idea behind Connect was to lower the barrier to entry for developers and make Aragon development adaptable to a wider variety of use cases. So, a hackathon seemed like the best way to find out if we accomplished that. Since Connect came out just a couple weeks before the hackathon began we really didn’t know what people were going to build.

Fork the World

Little did we know, our friends at MetaGame were also planning a hackathon called Fork the World, in celebration of the anniversary of The DAO fork a few years ago. We both decided it would be awesome to commemorate The DAO Hack with back-to-back DAO hackathons for the whole month of July, thus creating DAO Hack Month. Fork the World continues until August 6th so there’s still time to hack on some more DAOs and win some more prizes!

Read Fork the World retrospective

DAO Hack Month

We ended up sharing the same Discord server MetaGame had used for one of their previous virtual hackathons. We co-sponsored and helped organize each other's events. Not only was this the first major DAO hackathon but it held two historically separate DAO building communities under one roof. The shared Discord server gew from around 400 members to nearly 1000 and it’s still growing.

Hack for Freedom Highlights

With an idealistic name like Hack for Freedom, we were hopeful the event would live up to its name, and thanks to the teams, it did. Before we jump into specific projects, let’s appreciate the breadth of ground covered by the teams, in 3 weeks.

Integrations anyone?

How about custom DAO UIs?



FacebookFly (Fbfly) a tool that enables a Facebook Group to create a DAO for themselves in minutes while eliminating the jargon and complexity of “the blockchain” entirely.

When a group creates a FB DAO, their votes are displayed on the official Facebook Group message board for all members to see.

In addition to the DAO builder, they’ve also built a registry where you can browse, compare, and join existing FB DAOs.

More about FbFly


Aragon China

The Aragon China team built an intentionally opinionated Karma DAO builder built especially for the 1.4 billion Chinese people.

In just a few weeks, the team managed to build localized DAO creation and onboarding flow by building on top of FbFly, Karma DAO, and Aragon Connect. It’s also compatible with both Ethereum and xDAI to avoid expensive gas fees.

Their long term goal is to build an Aragon ecosystem in China and empower people living in one of the most centrally controlled jurisdictions in the world.

More about Aragon China



Watchdog is a DAO, curated list, and Twitter bot that maintains an archive of police brutality stored on IPFS and Filecoin.

Once Archivers are approved by existing members, they can simply reply to a video Tweet with “@watchdogedao #archive” and the video is automatically added to the archive.

More about Watchdog


Liquid democracy

The Liquid Democracy team was a stand out despite not winning any prizes, they had the most technically impressive submission.  

They built a full fledged Aragon DAO template to deploy and manage Liquid Democracy DAOs along with a platform for discovering and engaging with these DAOs. With it they created a Delegable voting Aragon app. Very impressive submission and worth taking a closer look at.

More about Liquid Democracy



Votes.fyi is a simple tool for exploring participation behavior in Aragon DAOs. It ranks a given DAOs members by votes cast and whether they tend to vote in support or opposition.

We look forward to seeing more apps like Votes.fyi with purpose built UIs that make DAOs more fun and easier to understand.

More about Votes.fyi


Research collective

Research Collective aims to build a community of expert DAOs to moderate a venue for biomedical researchers to curate research and membership for peer review.

They build an integration with Discourse that allow for members to vote to conduct real-time on-chain votes directly from their forum.

They’re aiming to tackle some big challenges and managed to execute on the core ideas and implementation beautifully.

More about Research Collective


Learnings from the voting experiment

About a week before the hackathon ended Abridged approached the organizers and offered to help facilitate a poll where ANT holders who held at least 50 ANT could get access to a Discord channel where they could vote on which projects deserved the 1500 and 500 prizes for the Social Impact category. The 4 projects with the highest score from the judges were put on the ballot, a permissioned Discord channel which ANT holders gained  access to by interacting with a Collab.Land Discord bot that verified whether they had 50 ANT in Metamask, if at any point they removed the ANT, they would automatically be kicked. Once they gained access, the ANT holders simply placed a 🥇 on their first place pick and a 🥈 on their second place pick. The poll would last for about 3 days. For the full background read the voting experiment announcement post.

Once the bot was activated ANT holders joined the judges channel and votes slowly trickled in, with many joining and holding there until later. About halfway through the eventual winners began to emerge. Elimu and Watchdog were in a dead heat for first while 1Hive was comfortably in the number two spot.

Due to a miscommunication, some teams voted for themselves despite it technically being against the rules and thankfully once they were reminded everyone who voted for themselves graciously withdrew their votes. Despite this, there was still no way of knowing whether teams made fake accounts to vote up their projects since anyone can create a Discord account. The method of each person assigning their 1st and 2nd place caused the two clear top two favorites to have the majority of the 🥇s but much fewer 🥈s than 1Hive that one of the top two voted projects wouldn’t win anything. In the end, Elimu and Watchdog tied for first place and 1Hive won second place.

In total, 30 votes were cast across 17 participants which means 850 ANT was represented in the poll.

Despite the experiment being relatively short notice we accomplished the main goal of letting ANT holders vote on something of value while giving Abridged’s Collab.Land Discord bot it’s first test in production. The collab.land bot worked great, but if you could solve for sybil resistance and improve vote tabulation the Collab.Land bot could be great for holding votes of all kinds in a familiar Web2 experience.

Thank you

We are so grateful to the teams, MetaGame, judges, sponsors, and ANT holders for making this such an incredible event.

Special shout out to @yalormewn, @cheeseyet, @Abridged, and @MetaFam for your invaluable contributions to organizing the hackathon!