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How would I describe the EasyA x Stacks hackathon in one word?


From October 21st to October 22nd, EasyA and Stacks hosted over 300 developers in Central London, all collaborating and competing to win £25,000 in prize money. Stacks is a revolutionary new technology and one of the world’s first platforms to bring smart contracts to Bitcoin. Since launch, a whole host of innovative new dApps have been built on Stacks and if their vision plays out, they will be one of the world’s first to allow developers to unlock the huge amounts of value behind Bitcoin (which currently has a market cap of almost US$1 trillion!). With that in mind, this hackathon was all about Bitcoin.

You may be wondering… why did Stacks pick Bitcoin and why do so many developers choose to build on it?

Well, imagine finally being able to tap into the most famous and widely-held cryptocurrency in the world, with almost a trillion dollars worth of value. That’s the huge opportunity that Stacks unlocks.

So… by now you probably know the magnitude of opportunity that building on Bitcoin presents. But to truly grasp how big this opportunity really is, you need to understand what makes Bitcoin itself one of the most miraculous inventions to date. Let’s dive in!

You've definitely heard of it, but what exactly is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin (BTC) is a decentralised cryptocurrency designed for peer-to-peer electronic cash transactions. Its key features include unparalleled security, making settled transactions almost impossible to reverse, and its complementary relationship with projects like Stacks, which offer novel applications such as bitcoin-backed loans, DeFi, and NFT trading, expanding Bitcoin's utility beyond a passive store of value.

My personal favourite part about Bitcoin? Bitcoin is an EXTREMELY versatile cryptocurrency. And now with Stacks, developers can leverage this by building on top of Bitcoin (yes, Stacks brings smart contracts to Bitcoin for one of the first times ever)! Check out some of the amazing projects that our gigabrain hackathon winners built!

Meet the winners of our EasyA x Stacks Hackathon

We wanted to make this hackathon accessible and competitive for everyone. So, whether you were technical or non-technical, there was an opportunity for you to win. Our three different competitions were: The Shark Tank Pitch competition, the sBTC Track and the AI pitch competition!

Who won the Shark Tank Pitch competition?

This was the competition for the entrepreneurs in attendance. Technical or non-technical, these prizes were simply for those with the best pitch. We were blown away by the genius and delivery of these winners:

EasyStacks (£1,000) - Serial entrepreneur Jakub Klima and ex-Deloitte consultant Ionana Marin built EasyStacks, a tool to help onboard users to Stacks’ brand new sBTC technology.

Remedy (£750) - Built by Akzhan, final year student at King's College London, is a platform that allows investors to fund clinical trials using Stacks' sBTC.

Minted (£250) - Built by a team who’s designed metaverses for the largest consumer brands such as, Minted is a Web3 fashion marketplace that’s cutting greenhouse emissions caused by fast fashion, using Stacks for payments.

Who won the sBTC Track?

sBTC is a new Bitcoin synthetic derivative that has a decentralised, two-way peg mechanism with Bitcoin. sBTC is unique in that it does not rely on a federation to facilitate the movement of BTC in and out of Bitcoin layers. Instead, it uses Stacks smart contracts that are capable of writing back to the Bitcoin mainchain in a trustless manner. So now you know a bit about sBTC, we present you with the winners of this track:

SeedSwipe (£6,000) - Tinder for investors! Built by Imperial College andengineering grads, their iOS app allows investors to invest in companies using crowdfunding features enabled by sBTC.

Stack Pot (£3,500) - Built by engineers from Stackpot uses Stacks smart contracts to decentralise casinos so that they’re fairer and more transparent for players. Say goodbye to the house always winning!

Bitroll (£1,500) - Bitroll uses Stacks and Hiro to automate payroll for companies, making HR teams more efficient and saving them time and money.

Who won the AI Pitch track?

Bitcoin and AI are two of the most transformative inventions to date. We combined the two in order to find out how AI can elevate projects using Bitcoin. Here were your winners:

Team Clarify AI (£4,000) - An AI that reads Stacks smart contracts for users to keep them safe and prevent scams.

If ‘Web1’ was the internet and ‘Web2’ was the internet’s coming of age with the creation of companies like Spotify, YouTube and Zoom, then Web3 is the means to unlock the internet's full potential.

Auto-BTC (£2,250) - Built by Binance Security Engineer is a multi-agent AI that creates full dApps based on a single prompt!

LiveTree (£750) - Built by a decentralisedgiving content creators greater control over their earnings online. They’re already live, check ‘em out at!

What made this hackathon so special?

Personally, this was my first ever Hackathon. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Prior to attending, I had no conception of why anyone apart from computer scientists went to hackathons. However, what entailed across those 2 days in London completely blew my mind. There were people of all ages, from different parts of the world, studying different subjects… both collaborating and learning in harmony.

And while it can be hard to launch a startup or build that idea you’ve always had alone, I saw the power of hackathons first-hand, and how important it is to launch your idea into the world alongside other talented and motivated individuals. It was the closest insight I had to what working in the real world would be like. Incredible brains teaming up to tackle the world’s biggest problems. You could tell that everyone in attendance felt immersed, enthused and happy to be there.

So whether you are a non-technical person like me or a veteran coder looking to win big… come along to the next EasyA hackathon. There is absolutely nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Check out our full recap on Twitter, and relive the day in full detail here!

If you've got this far, you're probably wondering how you can prepare for our next hackathon. Luckily, we built the EasyA app as the perfect place for you to get ahead and get ready for our next hackathon. Download the EasyA app now!

No matter your age or experience level, attending an EasyA Hackathon is for everyone.

Do not let my title of Head of Events at EasyA mislead you into thinking I am an expert. I am just like you! I attended my first ever EasyA x Stacks Hackathon in November 2023 as a complete newcomer.

HOWEVER… I came out of this experience enlightened, mesmerised and enthusiastic to learn. The best part?

YOU CAN TOO and it is completely FREE!

I feel like the term Web3 has a lot of confusion around it… what really is it?

Well, in my opinion… Web3 is the future.

If ‘Web1’ was the internet and ‘Web2’ was the internet’s coming of age with the creation of companies like Spotify, YouTube and Zoom, then Web3 is the means to unlock the internet's full potential.

In this blog I aim to help you…

1. Understand the true nature of hackathons and debunk common misconceptions.

For example: Hackathons are not what they seem at first glance. They involve more than just hacking and offer tons of unique learning and networking experiences for participants.

2. Realise that Hackathons do not require advanced programming skills or technical knowledge.

For example: They offer opportunities for technical and non-technical participation. In fact, EasyA hackathons always have a dedicated track for non-technical participants where anyone can pitch a business idea and win funding to launch their project! (Absolutely no code required!).

3. Find out what a Hackathon actually is.

In short: Hackathons are one to two day events involving networking, team formation, workshops… and a TON of fun!

Shall we start with the misconceptions?

“I study History… why would I spend two days competing against a bunch of computer science students?”

The author of this testimonial? That would be me.

Oh how naive I was. It pains me to think I was ever this narrow minded.

Here is what I have learnt with age.

Like any great professional, there is a first time for everything.

Let’s take your favourite footballer. Ronaldo, Messi, Zidane (No, this is not a GOAT debate). There would have been a moment in their life where they were the newcomers. THEY were the odd ones out. However, this never stopped them from stepping on the football pitch.

Perhaps people don’t believe this is a valid comparison as football is way more accessible than Hackathons? WRONG.

You don’t have the money? Our hackathons are completely free.

You don’t have a friend to go with? EasyA hosts weekly networking sessions so YOU can meet your next building partner.

You don’t have the time? Do you really need to go clubbing every Friday night or watch your football team put in yet another substandard performance on the weekend? (Yes, I do support Manchester United for those wondering).

HEY. You don’t even have a laptop to get started? I will personally lend you a laptop for the weekend (Actually, maybe let me clear the search history first).

If you are reading this right now…

Please PLEASE do not be like I was and just go and try ONE out.

It might just change the direction of your career.


It will probably change your life.

Why attend a hackathon?

Okay. So. Since you are now reading this section I am going to presume you are coming? RIGHT?


YOU are entrepreneurial. YOU are suffering from career confusion (don’t worry, we all do). YOU are looking to learn a new skill. YOU need an extra 50k (nice for some, eh?).

These are all reasons, which you may or may not not have thought of, to come to our next Hackathon!

Oh, I almost forgot.

My favourite part… The people you get to meet.

How heartwarming of me, I know!

On a serious note. You’ll meet some amazing friends. You’ll meet employers for some of the biggest companies in the world. And…

You may just meet your next co-founder.

I ask you this…

What’s not to love?

BUT, how do I win?

Earlier on I mentioned that hackathons present an opportunity for both technical and non-technical participants alike. Technical or not, everyone can do with some advice.


Don’t take it from me. That would be stupid. Take it from an expert - Phil Kwok.

I sat down with Phil, our co-founder, to find out his top tips for winning a hackathon - read below! (And yes, he’s won many in the past!).

Essential tips for winning a hackathon revealed by a hackathon veteran.

- Winning a hackathon isn’t just about coding or presentation.

- The 'lockbox method' contributed to the success of a team that won three hackathons in a row. This team's startup was funded by top VCs including a16z and is now valued at millions of dollars.

Winning a hackathon: essential strategies for success

- Focus on inspiring judges and the audience with your project.

- Build impressive and valuable projects to win.

- Utilise the Lockbox and AA methods for success.

- Come up with your idea before the hackathon as time is limited.

Time management and meeting deadlines

- Start coding or working on your project as soon as possible.

- Utilise your time effectively to maximise coding output.

- Submit the project before the deadline to maximise you chance of success!.

Hackathon success tips

- Focus on idea experimentation.

- Don't worry too much about the final product.

- Craft a set of slides explaining your idea clearly!

Final inspiration

Let me tell you a quick founder story. Once upon a time (2019 to be exact), there were two young men who had this crazy idea to start a not-for-profit tutoring company. They built a community of over 300,000 students by allowing students to take a picture of a question using their app, connecting them with a tutor who can provide assistance within minutes.

But then… something INCREDIBLE happened.

Full transparency, I was not here for this. I am also not a playwright. But, this is how I imagine their conversation went…

(stay tuned for part two in this blog post series coming soon)

If you've got this far, you're probably wondering how you can prepare for our next hackathon. Luckily, we built the EasyA app as the perfect place for you to get ahead and get ready for our next hackathon. Download the EasyA app now!

From the perspective of a student.

James Lacaille is a student at St Paul’s School in London and has offered to share his thoughts with us below.

If I think back to some of the best teachers I’ve had at school so far, I remember most the person who taught me as opposed to what they taught me. In this piece, I’m going to run through what I think are the 10 most important traits that these teachers share.

James Lacaille

1. They bring the subject to life

Good teachers know how to keep restless students engaged. Whether it’s a politics teacher talking about Brexit or a maths teacher relating probability to predicting football match outcomes, the best teachers relate the material they teach to everyday situations and current events. This keeps students engaged, listening and ready to learn.

2. They understand their students

We’ve all had teachers who go on and on, as if they are talking to themselves, seemingly unaware that there are other people in the room. Soon enough, students loose focus and forget there is a teacher in the room. This creates a situation where both student and teacher are unengaged, which is good for neither party.

3. They listen to their students

The best teachers I’ve had all take the time to seek feedback from students regarding what they find helpful and what could be improved. All students are different, and good teachers take the time to understand how best to teach each new class they have.

4. They have endless energy

Good teachers are upbeat, positive and full of energy. These qualities are all contagious and transfer onto the students they teach. Students feel ready to tackle any question they are faced with! This is one of main determinants of whether I look forward to a lesson or not.

5. They have a sense of humour

While teachers don’t have to be comedians, having a sense of humour is one of the most important traits a good teacher can have. Humour diffuses stressful situations and makes learning more enjoyable. Thinking back to my own teachers, the ones I learn the most from are also the funniest (even if their jokes aren’t always the best!).

6. They take advantage of technological innovation

Good teachers know how to use technology in the classroom. Even something as simple as writing class notes electronically and then uploading them after class can have a huge impact on how much students learn. It also means that if students miss a class or two they can easily review what was covered and don’t fall behind when they’re ill or out of school for other reasons.

7. They are always learning

Whether they’re finding out what works in the classroom from current students or conducting new research into their subject area, good teachers are constantly learning. This boundless hunger for knowledge not only helps them master their craft but also shows students that learning does not stop once they leave the classroom.

8. They go beyond the syllabus

While teachers should definitely cover the syllabus, the best teachers go beyond what is mandated by the school. By taking concepts one or two steps further, teachers show students the importance of what they are learning in the context of the wider world. For example, a maths teacher at my school recently explained linear equations by showing us how they can be used to make helpful predictions like the one below:

If a Christmas Fair spends £300 in initial start up costs and earns £200 per month in sales, the linear equation y = 200x — 300 can be used to predict profits from month to month.

9. They are emotionally supportive

Good teachers know that their students are facing multiple challenges as they grow up and mature. They take the time to understand each one of their students and offer to listen to their problems even if they are not directly related to the subject they teach.

10. They’re patient

Teaching is one of the few jobs where one doesn’t get constant, immediate feedback. Trying out a new teaching method or technique? You’ll only know if it worked after months of tracking students’ performance and ultimately how they perform in public exams at the end of the year.

What do you think are some other traits of good teachers? Let us know!

Want to try EasyA for yourself? Download the app now!

An extra-curricular is an activity that goes beyond the realm of your classes at school. Extra-curriculars allow you to broaden your horizons, build connections and gain industry experience that’s invaluable for your CV or personal statement. Through these activities, you’ll also develop transferable skills such as problem-solving, confidence and effective communication.

So what counts as an extra-curricular, and what doesn’t? If you find that you’re having to try to justify something as being an extra-curricular then it probably isn’t! However, you can turn almost any interest into an extracurricular by documenting your progress and interacting with people in that community. The best extra-curriculars will demonstrate a talent or contribute to others, so today we’re going to discuss the ways you can discover these opportunities. But first, a top tip: the earlier you start looking, the better your options will be!

1. Explore your interests

What subjects are you most excited to learn, or enjoyed doing the most? Brainstorm what makes you excited to learn inside & outside of the classroom and think about the topics that you’d like to discover more about. Remember that universities and employers don’t mind what kind of activity you’re doing, but instead want to see you doing something that you’re truly passionate about!

2. Harness your contacts

You teachers are likely to know you, your interests and the entry points of their industry well! My Computer Science teacher helped me set up a day in industry and my Maths teacher offered me a teaching assistant position during my free periods. Ask questions such as “what have previous students done?” and “do you have any industry connections?” and don’t forget to speak to other teachers in your department, your career advisors and your classmates too.

3. Explore your school’s community

There’s often a wide variety of opportunities to be found in your own school, from lunchtime debate clubs to the student council to inter-schools competitions. Don’t find something you like? Have the initiative to kick-start it yourself and gain a great example of leadership and hopefully some fun in the progress!

4. Get on LinkedIn!

I cannot stress how useful this tool is enough! If you’re aged 16 or over, create yourself an account and document your work and its progress. You can even politely reach out to students doing the degree you’re aspiring to do and ask for their advice. Do remember that it’s a public platform so you shouldn’t name your desired university choice and remember to be mindful of displaying location data.

5. Follow all those newsletters

In addition to your student paper, sign-up for the newsletters of companies, university departments and societies which interest you, as these often contain first-look insights into some great knowledge and opportunities!

5. Take a MOOC

MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free courses that provide a flexible way to learn new skills. You’ll be able to find courses on almost anything and the MOOC List website ( is an amazing way to get started. A lot of these courses are created by top universities or leading companies so they’ll be widely credited on an application! Personally, I recommend the “Solving Problems with Technology” trilogy by the University of Leeds on FutureLearn, which recently helped me in a successful internship interview.

6. Attend talks

Just like MOOCs, there’s a vast and plentiful array of student-tailored talks to attend. You can discover these by looking at events on LinkedIn, Meetup and Bright Network but also pay attention to city-wide learning festivals such as the York Festival of Ideas and Edinburgh Fringe. Due to the pandemic, a lot of these location-specific events are now virtual so there’s even more opportunity to get involved!

7. Secure work experience

There’s more to finding work experience than just exploring job sites on the Internet! If you’re able to, go and explore urban areas and offer businesses your CV and expertise in-person. Not only does this add a personal touch that an email can’t, but it also demonstrates your confidence and will likely spark-up interesting conversations. If you’ve got an individual’s contact from a talk, MOOC or LinkedIn, definitely use this to your advantage by asking them about their work before applying. If you make a great impression they may even offer to be your reference!

8. Get yourself on summer schools

Summer schools are the perfect opportunity to make new friends (networking!), voice your opinions and develop a whole bank of interpersonal skills. A lot of universities offer these for free, which comes with the perk of being able to discover whether the location, culture and course are right for you.

9. Compete in competitions

Competitions are a brilliant way to challenge your skill set and put your knowledge to the test! You may have done the UKMT, an Olympiad or Bebras at school but there’s a mass of amazing competitions available, from engineering with Lego to creating posters exploring hidden maths. There's a lot of blogs online covering competitions that could be for you, so make sure you use your search engine to your advantage!

10. Volunteer your time

Volunteering is one of the best extracurriculars to give back to your community and is an exciting way to expose yourself to new perspectives! I’d recommend looking on your local council’s website and exploring NCS as an option. If you’re not already signed up to voluntarily tutor with EasyA, which has zero required time commitment and comes with a bunch of perks, get on that too! Just fill out this super quick form to get started!

Wow! It’s been one hectic morning at EasyA, with our team waking up to new users signing up by the second. EasyA is Apple’s App of the Day! Stay tuned to hear more about how Apple chose our app out of the 2 million apps on the Store. In the meantime, you can read Apple’s shout-out below:

Maths and homework. Words that, individually, probably fill the heart with dread and despair. Together they wield a power too great and terrible to imagine. If only it were possible to magically summon a maths genius from Oxford or Cambridge…

EasyA is an app designed to give school-age students access to brilliant tutors via instant messaging.

Pupils can send an image of the taxing problem and, with the aid of a virtual whiteboard, certified tutors will break down hard-to-grasp fields such as geometry and trigonometry during one-on-one sessions.

Students can connect with Oxbridge-educated tutors instantly, while tutors reward student progression with achievement badges of their own.

Parents attest EasyA has helped when homework difficulty surpassed their own ability, while also assisting kids who lack the confidence to ask questions during class. Finally, 2y+x doesn’t have to = head-against-the-wall frustration.

Pay-as-you-go pricing keeps the cost low, so students can learn without worrying about overpaying for hourly sessions.

Want to try EasyA for yourself? Download the app now!

Have any questions? Get in touch.

Making mistakes leads to a growth mindset, which in turn promotes resilience. If you can stretch your brain and improve cognitive ability, you are more likely to succeed in life. In recent years, we parents have been accused of ‘helicopter parenting’, feeling the need to watch over our child’s every move. This label was recently replaced by ‘snowplough parenting’, meaning we are clearing the path in front of our child to ensure they don’t come across any unforeseen obstacles along the way. If this is the case, we really are doing them a disservice. Think back to the last time you yourself really embedded knowledge, as a result of making a mistake. Had you simply been ‘told’ not to do “X”, you would not have come away with the same understanding and, what you did learn, would have been much more superficial. We need to give our children those same opportunities to learn for themselves.

Maths is one subject in which we are led to believe that there are only right or wrong answers. Whilst technically accurate, it is also about problem solving. Take for instance the visual learner who looks at the following equation – ½ + ½ - most will be desperately trying to remember the formula they were taught, asking themselves ‘do I add the top numbers or the bottom numbers?’ and forgetting the image of a divided cake or pizza. Once they are given the time and space to think more logically, half a cake plus half a cake makes a whole cake, they can then apply the same visual logic to other, similar problems. All those thought processes, perseverance and logical thinking, are making neural connections in the brain, helping to maximise problem-solving skills and resilience. MATH – Mistakes allow thinking to happen.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new

By making errors, we all come to understand that it’s not only okay to make mistakes but, that we can learn so much more from our mistakes, which will help us when solving future problems. By learning to problem solve, our children can take ownership of their work and will also benefit more when they get the answer right. They won’t simply be trying to please their tutor, instead their tutor becomes the person who supports their learning and enables them to take ownership of that knowledge. Being in control of one’s own learning, leads to self-efficacy, the ability to motivate ourselves and feel confident in our own abilities.

The greatest mathematicians often used their mistakes as a way of defining the most effective methods for potential solutions. Very few people get things right first time, including the best mathematical brains. So, the sooner we teach our children, that not only is it okay to make mistakes, but quite often it is beneficial, the more resilient they will be when faced with challenges of all descriptions. Surely, we want them to see a problem as a challenge that can be worked through, rather than something that will floor them and make them feel like a failure when they can’t work it out.

One of Einstein’s most notable quotes sums it up, ‘anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’

About The Parent Collaborative

The Parent Collaborative is a Parenting Consultancy that delivers courses, workshops and one-to-one sessions to parents, schools and businesses. Their goal is to support families as they navigate the sometimes choppy waters of parenthood.

The Parent Collaborative was founded by 2 mothers, Early Years teachers (with a combined total of 40 years experience of teaching and senior management), friends and long-time work partners who saw that there was a lack of support for families going through a tough time with their children. In addition to 1-to-1 sessions and group presentations, The Parent Collaborative also organises talks with leading practitioners in the Mental Health arena; assists teachers and parents in schools; and works with the local community to help children and parents maximise each family’s unique dynamic.

Find out more here.