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Building DeFi and NFTs at Hackathons: The Best DApps from DecentralHacks 2021

November 4, 2021 by Manu Naik
NFTs Hackathons

From DeFi’s growth to the surge in popularity of NFTs, 2021 has been an exciting year to say the least. The realm of digital assets has gone through its fair share of ups and downs, but with cryptocurrencies touching new highs across the board, things are certainly looking up for blockchain. At Octaloop, we’re convinced that DLT, DeFi, and NFTs will push financial services to new frontiers, and educating people through informative, engaging events and hackathons is one of the best ways we know to speed that process up.

Earlier this year, we conducted DecentralHacks 2021, one of our open-to-all blockchain-focused hackathons with a prize pool of over $15,000, as well as other goodies like hardware wallets and NFTs! With hundreds of teams showcasing their talents, there were all too many submissions to highlight through a single blog post. However, to give you a taste of what went down, we’ve curated a list of the best DApps crafted at DecentralHacks this year.

PiperSwap by Pied Piper

Investing in digital assets is investing in the future of money, but not everyone has the time or understanding to invest the right way. Managing an investment portfolio requires at least some knowledge of how markets operate and the mental rigor to make decisions based on market information.

To combat this, the Pied Piper team (consisting of Rupali Shah, Avanish Dubey, Varnit Sharma, and Shreya Bhat) built PiperSwap, a platform to invest in cryptocurrencies with realistic metrics and efficient trades.

PiperSwap is an automated trading platform that internally uses the limit order protocol on 1inch, our event sponsor and one of the leading DeFi/DEX aggregators in the world. By performing gas-efficient trades, the team claims users can expect a stable 8-15% gains over a period on their investments.

NFT Fruit Tree

NFTs or ‘non-fungible tokens’ have been in existence for quite some time now, but it’s only in the last couple of years that they’ve really taken off. NFTs are transforming the concept of digital ownership, enabling artists and creators to monetize their work while also pushing the boundaries of physical asset tokenization.

With the advent of CryptoKitties in 2017, NFT gaming has also evolved into its own burgeoning corner of the digital assets arena, with players from around the world congregating on various platforms to compete against each other in a decentralized manner. Enter: NFT Fruit Tree, a hyper-casual NFT game developed by a team with the same name as the DApp at DecentralHacks 2021.

Despite one of their team members dropping out right at the start due to health concerns, this project went on to win the competition’s GameFi track. The team, including Wary Wary, Poobesh Gowtham SR, David Uzochukwu, Tomo Saigon, and Ganesh Tiwari, describes NFT Fruit Tree as an 8-bit pixel play-to-earn yield farming game that uses its own in-game currency.

The game allows users to mint their own randomized, unique ‘Seeds’ and plant them on their ‘Land.’ Players will need to water and tend to their plants so they can sprout into mature trees, and they can also fertilize them with interest-bearing tokens to produce ‘Fruits,’ which can be harvested to get more Seeds, Land, or even MATIC tokens. The project also includes an unpredictable luck-based plant DNA system, and players can also trade rare trees or seeds for higher amounts.

The game also allows players to help their friends water their trees, move their own plants to more fertile land, and extract valuable tokens from harvested fruits, with an internal market for seeds ensuring a price floor for farmed assets.

NFT Art Gallery by SimpleHodlers

NFTs are a popular topic to work on at hackathons, and sticking on the topic, the SimpleHodlers team, a group comprised of just two members, Bhaskar Dutta and Abhik Banerjee, have created a DApp that blurs the lines between the digital ecosystem and real life. The NFT Art Gallery is a virtual reality showcase for NFT art, and allows creators to present their work in a VR gallery for anyone to see.

This brings the feeling of going to a physical art gallery and even provides users with additional information about the NFTs on display, including a short description, price, and the NFT’s address. Working with DeFi and NFTs can be complex, especially at hackathons where there’s a deadline. In the future, SimpleHodlers plans to add features that allow users to interact with each other, and even buy and sell NFTs from within the DApp.


There are hundreds of blockchain-based projects popping up on the regular, and building an idea out into a full-fledged product takes time and effort, but it also needs money. Seed funding is notoriously hard to get, and is often what makes the difference between a good project and a successful one. But if you’re a blockchain project looking for capital, ALLY could soon become your closest friend.

Created by team kNITTs, consisting of members Barath Kumar, Abhishek L, Arvinth Saravanan, and Thrishik Senthilkumar, ALLY helps projects get the funding they need to bring their ideas to life. On ALLY, people can become moderators and create leagues where players can submit their ideas to join the battle.

Using quadratic funding, a mathematically optimal way to fund public ventures in decentralized communities, ALLY ensures the ideas that receive the most support win the highest amount of funding. This is done by giving investors shares in the project they invest in while also maintaining a credibility score within the contract for investors.

Investing in top projects raises this credibility score. Investors can also mint and sell NFTs to share revenue and contribute to projects in other leagues, and buyers can look up credibility scores before purchasing NFTs. 

The kNITTs team ran into a few challenges working on this project, especially with splitting the investor/project proportions, and though they managed to create a public testnet, Ethereum gas prices were too high to perform any extensive testing. Perhaps some funding could have helped.

DApps For Everyone, By Everyone

DecentralHacks is all about encouraging developers to stretch their creative muscles. Hackathons are a great space to try new things and learn things along the way, and from DeFi to NFTs, we hope to inspire more imaginative products in the events to come.

This year alongside DecentralHacks 2021, we also conducted The Road to Metamorphosis 3.0, where we gathered experts in fields like digital assets, DLT, DeFi, and blockchain to talk on various topics and interact with the community. Blockchain is pushing the boundaries of what money can do, and events like these genuinely remind us that while blockchain runs on a distributed framework, it’s more often than not built on collaborative efforts.