Teams participating in the Legal Hackers 2018 Computational Law and Blockchain Festival are encouraged to tackle the Zen Governance Challenge with a high level design concept and rapid prototype project. 

The Zen Governance Challenge is presented by ZenCash and, and there will be a US$1500 prize for the winning team, disbursed in ZenCash.*

All teams will also have the opportunity to interact with the judging panel and potentially participate in ongoing blockchain ecosystem and distributed ledger implementations and development communities being established by the judges.


Conceptual Design

Develop a conceptual design and rapid prototype demonstrating a blockchain-based system for self-governance by a group or community.

This system may cover executive (enforcement and implementation), legislative (voting), and/or judicial (mediation and dispute resolution) functions of governance.

The conceptual design should specify the intended groups or communities that would use the governance system and include a realistic approach to a specific method of governance by that group or community.

For example, teams submitting a blockchain-based voting system (potentially based off of the ideas of liquid democracy, representative democracy, etc.) should be able to champion the design, implementation and deployment, and demonstrate how the system can be self-regulating, fair to all participants, and hack-proof.

Design Specifications

The design should specify:

  • Overview of the governance system design and architecture
  • The basis of the governance process: (e.g. for voting, will the process be per person, per account, weighted, role based such as miners and secure node operators, value based such as account holders, etc., also considering staking requirements and related time locks)
  • The features of the system: how is privacy maintained; how is identity proven; does it allow proxy voting; ballot structure; etc.
  • Reasoning why the governance process was selected and why it is better or more suitable than other approaches (e.g. reasoning for allocation of votes to different roles, quantity chose for staking, etc.)
  • Whether and how the governance process would be enforced and integrated within existing legal and governance frameworks (e.g. Terms of Service, Intermediary Liability laws).

Rapid Prototype

The prototype should demonstrate the governance processes. For example, a voting, counting, and validation process in a legally valid and binding implementation should include:

  • Voter identification (what credentials are used)
  • The voting method
  • Vote validation during voting and how votes are stored and protected
  • Counting, validation, and verification of results

Team Participation

To participate as a team project in the Zen Governance Challenge:

  1. Submit a completed INITIAL REGISTRATION form (before the 24-hour hacking period begins). All teams must register at your node before the beginning of the 24-hour hacking period, as designated by your local node. When you register, you will be asked to provide basic team and project information, including information to verify your attendance at a node and a YouTube video project pitch. The INITIAL REGISTRATION form is located here.
  2. Physically attend a local 2018 CL+B Fest node hosting a HACK track. The CL+B Fest does not permit “remote” participation in the HACK track. All participants (including all team members) must attend a local node in person at the beginning and end of the Fest. Each node’s organizers will designate a 24-hour period to serve as the official hacking period for the node and will be responsible for enforcing the time period.
  3. 24-Hour HACK! Once the 24-hour period begins, it’s time for you and your teammates to hack the night away. As you hack, remember to comply with your local node’s Code of Conduct.
  4. Submit a GitHub Issue with the following information:
    • The name of your project and your team name;
    • The names of your team members including the GitHub username of at least one member;
    • The URL of the GitHub repository where your project will be developed and submitted;
    • The URL of the YouTube Channel where your team will submit video; and
    • The name and URL of the Festival Node your team is participating in
  5. Submit a completed FINAL SUBMISSION form (before the end of the 24-hour hacking period begins). The final submission form will largely mirror the initial registration form, but will include final verification information, a final project pitch video, and links to your final project materials. You must submit both an initial registration and a final submission to be eligible for a prize. The FINAL SUBMISSION form is located here.
  6. Demo time: After the hack period, local nodes will provide a time for teams to demo their hacks and receive feedback. Some nodes may have local judges and prizes, but not all nodes will. This is a great time to receive constructive feedback and plan how you will take your project to the next level.

Criteria and Judging

Teams are expected to:

  • Pitch their project idea at or before the start of the 2018 CL+B Fest through a 2 minute or shorter video clip uploaded to YouTube under Creative Commons license;
  • Present their final project in a 2 minute or shorter video clip uploaded to YouTube under Creative Commons license;
  • Provide their final project materials (including any slides, video and other media, documentation, working code, etc) through a GitHub repository under an open source license.

Final team projects will be reviewed and rated by the following panel of invited judges:

From the 24 hour hack sprint, judges are looking for design specifications for decentralized governance that are demonstrative of frameworks and prototypes that will be produced over the following weeks — additional benefit will be given if any coded framework is provided after the initial 24 hour hacking period.
Open source projects that were initiated prior to the CLBFest Hackathon are eligible to enter, however judges will take this into consideration.
The top team projects will be determined based on rank order resulting from an aggregate of the ratings by each judge. The winning project will be rewarded a US$1500 prize, and encouraged to collaborate with the ZenCash and teams on follow-on projects.

Judges will take approximately one month to review the submissions and select a winner. Winners will be announced publicly on April 17, 2018.

All entries are subject to the Terms of the challenge.

Email and with questions.

* ZenCash denominated amount will be determined by the average USD denominated price during the challenge period (Mar 17-April 17 2018).