Grant Proposal: 0xCastle

Grant ID: 8687x8gk4


0xCastle is a five-day blockchain-focused educational and research retreat within the beautiful setting of a historic castle near Leipzig, Germany. It is scheduled immediately after ETHBerlin, from May 26-31. We believe in the idea of collective intelligence. To achieve this, we want to bring together bright minds from different ecosystems to conduct interdisciplinary research. The retreat is built on a blend of lectures, workshops, and collaborative research sessions. The main goal of 0xCastle is to facilitate understanding and developing concepts to solve Blockchain tech’s most pressing problems. This initiative will catalyze new ideas, innovations, and solutions.

This exclusive event gathers 50 researchers, developers, and blockchain enthusiasts from both academia (40%) and the industry (60%) to delve into critical topics of privacy, scalability, and interoperability in blockchain technology. The program is participant-driven, encouraging attendees to propose and lead discussions on topics they are passionate about, fostering an environment of knowledge exchange and collective problem-solving. Content ranges from introductory talks to in-depth discussions on cutting-edge subjects such as cryptography (Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Multi-Party Computation, Fully Homomorphic Encryption), layer 2 solutions & rollups, and mechanism design. Logistics include all-inclusive meals and accommodations, facilitating an immersive and uninterrupted experience. 0xCastle is crafted not only for educational purposes, it’s also aimed at promoting collaboration across different fields and exploring the fundamentals of blockchain technology.

See our vision and more information about the event on the website:

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Describe what your project does or is aiming to do in 50 characters or less:
Blockchain retreat for collaborative research

If available, please enter a link to your project below:

How far along are you?:
Venue’s locked in, teams for project development and logistics are all set, and our marketing plan is in full swing. We’ve confirmed partnerships with top educational and community groups, and we’re actively seeking more sponsors and grants to enhance the event. We’re currently reviewing participant applications and fine-tuning the workshops we’ll be offering. We’re also filtering out the content we’ll offer, making sure to stay on track with the topics covered and not diverge too much from the main ones.

Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you’re making?:
Our team has a solid background in blockchain and organizing big tech events. We’ve put together things like 0xVillage ( in Turkey, and have been involved in big conferences like TUM Blockchain Conference (TUM Blockchain Conference 24) , Ledgerfest ( and many more. We know our way around both setting up a great event and diving deep into blockchain tech. We’ve got coders who’ve built blockchain apps and we’re all about getting people engaged and learning. Organising initiatives like 0xCastle perfectly aligns with our interests, as we are passionate about delving deep into the complexities of blockchain technology. Ensuring seamless operations and upholding the fundamental values of openness and privacy within our events is a priority for us. We believe we’re the right team to make 0xCastle a hit because we’ve got the experience, the technical background, and the passion for blockchain and education. Team members work for Quantstamp, Staking facilities, as research assistants in web3 and all have a computer science major/minor at top universities.

Our decision to create 0xCastle originates from recognizing a clear need within the blockchain community for more meaningful and effective gatherings. Through our extensive participation in numerous hackathons and community events, we’ve consistently observed a gap in how these events connect participants, share knowledge, and foster innovation. Traditional venues often fall short in facilitating genuine interactions and deep dives into complex topics like blockchain technology. By choosing a unique setting like a castle and leveraging our strong technical expertise and vast network, we’re addressing these shortcomings head-on. We aim to create an environment that not only fosters learning and collaboration but also builds a strong community committed to advancing blockchain technology. Our firsthand experiences and observations have confirmed the demand for such a novel approach, where the focus is on quality interactions, in-depth exploration of topics, and collaborative problem-solving, all within a setting that inspires creativity and teamwork. This is not just about changing the venue, it’s about reimagining what a tech event can be, making 0xCastle a necessary innovation in the blockchain space.

What’s new about what you’re making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn’t exist yet (or they don’t know about it)?:
0xCastle research retreat is not a typical conference or a meetup. This unique environment fosters genuine connections, deeper engagement with blockchain, and community-driven innovation. By blending education with a strong sense of community, we provide a refreshing alternative to transactional conferences and online forums, filling a gap for more meaningful interactions and learning experiences in the blockchain space, with leading researchers and developers that have firsthand experience, ensuring top-tier expertise and insights. This distinctive approach makes 0xCastle an unparalleled event for both professional development in blockchain technology and enriching personal experiences.

What’s your vision for how your project will impact The Graph and/or web3?:
We aim to significantly impact the web3 space by hosting a five-day intensive gathering that promotes deep technical exploration and collaboration among blockchain enthusiasts. Our program is carefully designed to cover a wide range of topics crucial to blockchain’s future, such as cryptography (including Zero-Knowledge Proofs, Multi-Party Computation, and Fully Homomorphic Encryption), layer 2 solutions, rollups, and the intricacies of blockchain architecture. By engaging participants in a rich mix of talks, workshops, and research sessions, we encourage a vibrant exchange of ideas and knowledge.

This participant-driven model not only promotes a dynamic learning environment but also ensures that each attendee can contribute unique insights from their expertise, creating collective advancement in blockchain technology. The Graph can provide research questions to allow participants to understand the current work in the space. This type of setting is intended to ignite innovations and solutions that could directly benefit ecosystems like The Graph. By delving into topics like mechanism design and advanced cryptographic techniques, participants could uncover new ways to optimize The Graph’s query processing and indexing capabilities, enhancing its performance and utility for the wider web3 community. Through 0xCastle, we aim to foster thought leadership and practical innovation that advance both The Graph and the entire web3 ecosystem. Furthermore, The Graph will receive brand recognition through mentions and branding during the event.

How will you measure success?:
Success will be measured by the tangible outcomes of the retreat: the initiation of collaborative projects within the blockchain space, feedback from participants indicating enhanced understanding and networking, and the development of innovative solutions that could benefit ecosystems like The Graph and the broader web3 community. Additionally, the growth in participant engagement year-over-year and the ability to attract a diverse group of attendees from various sectors of blockchain will serve as key indicators of the event’s impact and its contribution to advancing blockchain technology.

What milestones will you achieve in the coming weeks/months, with or without the grant?:
Phase 0 - Resources (January - February):

  • Milestone 1: Completion of Pitch Deck, Website, Team Structure, and Application Form.
  • Deliverable: Fully developed Pitch Deck, Website launched, Team Structure finalized, Application Form ready for use.
  • Milestone 2: Finalization of venue selection.
  • Deliverable: Confirmed venue for the event.

Phase 1 - Outreach (Feburary - March):

  • Milestone 3: Engagement with potential sponsors, partners, and speakers.
  • Deliverable: Agreements or commitments from sponsors, partners, and speakers to participate in the event.
  • Milestone 4: Launch of the application campaign.
  • Deliverable: Application campaign initiated, with applications starting to come in.

Phase 2 - Attendees (March - April):

  • Milestone 5: Finalization of sponsor contracts.
  • Deliverable: Signed contracts with sponsors.
  • Milestone 6: Processing of applications.
  • Deliverable: Applications reviewed and accepted/rejected accordingly.
  • Milestone 7: Ticket sales commence.
  • Deliverable: Tickets available for purchase.

Phase 3 - Logistics (April - May):

  • Milestone 8: Development of event content.
  • Deliverable: Event agenda and content finalized based on applications and sponsor requirements.
  • Milestone 9: Finalization of event logistics.
  • Deliverable: Event logistics such as venue setup, equipment rental, and catering

Please select who you think will benefit from your project?:

How much funding are you looking for? (USD):

Provide a breakdown of your requested funding:
We would like to enable students to attend this event at low cost/for free. Those students will come from blockchain clubs at top universities that are our educational partners like Blockchain at Berkeley, Cornell Blockchain, Cambridge Blockchain Society, Waterloo Blockchain, EPFL BFA and many more. Each scholarship (2 of them) will consist of $2,500 that will cover accommodation in a dorm, food and a shuttle from Berlin. This grant will only be used for the scholarships and nothing else. You can also choose which club or student association you want us to give the money to.

Have you applied for (or already received) funding from somewhere else?:

If yes, please describe where you’ve received funding from and how much you have, or will, receive:
We are at the beginning of the outreach process. Therefore, we have not yet received any funds since the evaluation of the grant applications is still in progress. As for the confirmed sponsors, we keep the details undisclosed until the final agreements and official public announcement on our website and socials.

Can you share any information about current/past web3 experience?:
Our team has extensive experience in web3, with both academic and professional backgrounds. We’ve graduated from top universities with computer science degrees, specializing in blockchain-related fields. Professionally, we’ve worked at leading blockchain companies like Quantstamp and Staking Facilities, contributing as developers, researchers, and thought leaders. Outside of formal education and careers, we’re actively involved in the web3 community through non-profit organizations, bettering our understanding of both technical and societal aspects of blockchain. Every team member has a solid grasp of web3 technologies, with most excelling in technical development and others knowledgeable in blockchain theory. Have attended countless of hackathons and won many prizes there, web3 conferences and been part of various hands on workshops during those. Many of the team members have also been part of research teams in academia in web3 and blockchain.

Some of the previous events of members:

and many more…

Why are you interested in contributing to The Graph and/or web3?:
The main goal of 0xCastle is to facilitate understanding and developing concepts to solve Blockchain tech’s most pressing problems like privacy, scalability, and interoperability. The Graph does help address the issue of blockchain interoperability by indexing and providing data from various sources across different blockchains. By taking a deep dive into these areas, 0xCastle promotes a better understanding and application of Graph’s features, encouraging the development of robust, scalable, and secure cross chain dApps. This focus not only enhances the platform’s visibility among tech enthusiasts and developers but also positions Graph’s as a leader in facilitating these solutions, driving its growth and adoption in the ecosystem. As a result, The Graph will receive brand recognition through mentions and branding during the event.

Are you applying as a team or individual?:

What type of grant are you pursuing?:
Project (one-off)

Please select the category your project best fits into:

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Do you fundamentally support this grant application, knowing that the final scope and grant amount may differ from the requested proposal?
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  1. Given the advanced stage of planning, how will additional sponsors and grants further improve the event?
  2. Specifically, how will the funding requested from Graph will be utilized to support student participation, and what outcomes do you anticipate this will achieve in alignment with The Graph’s vision?

Thank you for your application.
I consider this proposal is very interesting but I would like to understand why not to organize this workshops before the hackathon so people can participate and use the knowledge in a project.
In addition of that I would like to know how this proposal is connected with The Graph and if you have included content about The Graph

Hello, sorry for the late reply. Seems like I did not notice that the grant proposal was published.

A little about me: I am Alex from the TUM Blockchain Club, one of the organizers of the 0xCastle.

Regarding your questions:

  1. We require additional sponsors in order to fund the venue, transportation and food. Since our accommodation capacities do not allow us to have more than ~50 people, covering all these expenses with ticketing is not possible. To do so, we would need to raise the ticket prices significantly, which will result in less attraction and, in general, make the event not very accessible. The further grants will not only allow interested students to visit 0xCastle at a low cost but also enable us to sell tickets for a fair price.

  2. The funding requested by Graph will be spent to cover accommodation, travel and living (food) costs of student participants. The outcome of 0xCastle is to initiate the generation of new ideas, innovations, and solutions that will directly or indirectly benefit The Graph’s ecosystem. Given The Graph’s presence at the event, its tools and solutions will be presented and will be considered utilised first in achieving this goal. We believe that we align with The Graph’s vision to enable brand recognition and technology awareness behind the Graph, as well as the general goal of providing accessibility to educational/research content for interested students.

I hope I could answer your questions.
Best regards,

1 Like

Hello Lorena, thank you for the question!

The reason for the 0xCastle event after ETH Berlin is its salon-style atmosphere and relaxed setting. The event is not a conference packed with talks but rather a “research retreat” with causal informal discussions and smaller talks/workshops from professionals in their fields. Since the talks and workshops won’t be specifically about companies and their tech stack but rather about the solutions and technology behind them, they will not be that useful in the preparation for the hackathon. Therefore, having our event after Berlin Blockchain Week and an exhausting and knowledge-insightful hackathon is perfectly suited because it gives the possibility to process the information and share it with other people.

The agenda is currently being designed. We look forward to including The Graph in it to allow discussions between researchers and developers, specifically on the topic of gathering blockchain-specific data efficiently.

I hope it answers your question.
Best regards,