0xHack - Lessons Learned

Status sponsored the 0xHack hackathon with several bounties, including one to reward hackers using JS-Waku in their project.

Here is below a review of the lessons we learned sponsoring this bounty and supporting developers in using JS-Waku:


  • 4 projects for js-waku bounty:
    1. Wakumono: End-to-end encrypted message service linked to your Ethereum address (winner)
    2. DexNews: A social/blogging/news platform that uses Waku for comments on articles and profiles
    3. Third project by bitsikka: A Twitter like platform using Waku.
    4. Baseline on Waku: Was using Whisper (then centralized NATS solution) and project upgrades to Waku. https://docs.baseline-protocol.org/

Most projects focused on peer-to-peer (human-to-human) communications.
We selected Wakumono as the winning project among two submissions as the usage of js-waku was clearly presented in the demo and we were able to run the project locally to try it out ourselves.
Third and fourth projects were not submitted in time.

Hackathon organization

  • First feedback session was not used: Be more relax about feedback, instead of pro-actively organizing them on our side, scout hackers first and organize slot if there is interest in it. Ensure a feedback session do happen at the end of the hackathon as it is a great way to collect feedback.
  • Ensure that all idea/examples suggested in bounty are in line with the hackathon’s rules.
  • The bounty specified that Waku needs to be used in a meaningful way. However some videos did not clearly show this.Next time we could mention that as part of the demo, we need to see an A to B communication using Waku.


  • Devs do not tend to check specs, ensure that the JS-Waku documentation explains enough of the behavior spec reading is not needed to understand. Tracked with #193.
  • Some doc may be written from a protocol dev (spec) point of view, ensure that all docs is written from a library consumer (e.g. dApp developer) point of view. Tracked with #193.
  • What Content topics are was not clear. Fixed with #383.
  • All hackers used examples to inspire their app, hence it is clear that adding more examples will be beneficial.
  • Baseline project which I would categorize as M2M still used ChatMessage instead of their own message. I guess this is the danger of having ChatMessage in js-waku. We should review how we want to handle application examples and possibly extract ChatMessage from js-waku to the examples folder.
  • One of the hacker used ClojureScript which does not see to play well we async/await keywords. Having an example without await/async could help (or even better, a ClojureScript example). Tracked with #182


  • Signing/Validating signature/encrypting/decrypting messages are a number of operations that most project needed, having examples on how to do that (or even better, js-waku doing it for you) seemed to be a great addition. Tracked with #74.
  • The winning project was a very close implementation to ETH-DM. The current spec of ETH-DM are not realistic. This project had to solve 2 problems: Creating encryption private key from eth key, link encryption public key to eth address. It’d be interested to provide a standard and secure to solve this problem for future developer. Tracked with #72.
  • Wakumono has issue sending messages both directions, it’d be interesting to implement ETH-DM and see if there are any issue on js-waku side that needs fixing.
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Also some more notes from the feedback sessions:


  • js-waku is a nice wrapper around js-libp2p. Allowing to work out of the box. Comparing to using libp2p directly where one has to spend more time understanding and deciding several parameters such as transport, encryption, etc. And possibly having to create custom protocols. js-waku provides good default, using.
  • The encryption layer is missing, one of the project was hoping to be interoperable with Status and wanted the library to support the Status chat encryption scheme.


  • Examples are clear and useful.


  • Can see js-waku being used for collaborative NFT usage, where several artists sign and create a NFT together however Waku before it gets mined.
  • eth-crypto has proven a useful library, worth checking out .