All the magic from Aleo zkHouse at Devconnect
December 21, 2023

All the magic from Aleo zkHouse at Devconnect

Aleo zkHouse at Devconnect Istanbul is a wrap! 

Over four days, Aleo made its home at Devconnect, a week-long gathering of independent Ethereum events. One of these events, Aleo zkHouse, brought together zero-knowledge (ZK) enthusiasts of all levels for various ZK-powered workshops and activities at the beautiful SoHo House Istanbul. 

From deploying DApps, pitching ZK projects, and enjoying a Turkish-inspired party featuring a world-renowned magician, developers fully immersed themselves in the magical possibilities of ZK.

Whether you attended zkHouse or were there in spirit, we’ve gathered a recap to relive and share all the highlights. We hope this inspires you to join our next Aleo IRL event.

"Aleo was the shining star of Devconnect.” — Akin Semih Pur, Aleo Ambassador

We learned, built, pitched — and experienced the magic of David Blaine

zkHouse kicked off with learning, earning, and putting Leo knowledge into practice. At Learn & Earn, developers new to Leo explored the basics of our programming language and its role in privacy-preserving technologies. They then applied Leo to different tasks, from creating programs and writing tests to using Aleo’s SDKs to build a full-stack private DApp, building and deploying a basic stablecoin, and more. With every task completed, developers earned rewards — up to $600.

Developers could then apply what they learned from this first day’s activities to the other events, including Hacker House on day two. At Hacker House, we hosted a Hackathon (via DevPost) where developers co-built DApps and got expert guidance from the Aleo Team. Fully deployed DApps were evaluated and rewarded, with $24K in bounties handed out to the Hackathon winners.

On day three, developers joined panel discussions on the latest cryptography research, hardware, and app development. Panelists — including Aleo CEO Alex Pruden and other blockchain and Web3 leaders — covered everything from ZK’s role in digital identity, harnessing ZK for secure AI and ML apps, how ZK technology integrates into on-chain gaming, and more. After the full day of talks, attendees gathered in an adjacent room to keep the conversations going with their peers.

On the final day, 18 teams pitched their ZK project ideas to investors at SNARK Tank, hoping to get the funding — part of the $200K prize pool — to help make them a reality. Developers could pitch projects across categories, including gaming, identity & authentication, and zeFi. Judges from Aleo, A16Z Crypto, Orange DAO, and more evaluated the pitches. Shoutout to our partners at Bitmain and AMD for helping to make this event a hit.

After SNARK Tank, we closed out zkHouse with our ZK Is Magic celebration, where guests enjoyed delicious cocktails and Turkish food, local musical and dance performances — and magic by David Blaine.

We were thrilled to have David Blaine perform at our closing party, and he put on a show — wowing the audience by eating glass, levitating cards, and revealing a card from inside his mouth while it was sewn up.

“Everything in Istanbul left a profound impression on me: the specially prepared swag for ambassadors and grantees, the well-organized meeting schedule, the meticulously arranged dinner by the Aleo team, and David's captivating performance.” — Julie, Aleo Ambassador

We introduced Enigma, Icebreaker’s zkCat NFT, and The Aleo Cap by 9dcc


Aleo launched Enigma, a first-of-its-kind game, at Devconnect. Developers teamed up to solve intricate puzzles built on Aleo and compete for the winning prize. 

Aleo x Icebreaker: zkCat NFT 

Aleo and Icebreaker collaborated to offer Devconnect attendees a zkCat — a single evolving dynamic and gamified zkNFT. At the start of zkHouse, attendees received an Icebreaker wristband to activate their zkCat. As they engaged in workshops and events, they could tap their wristband on check-in discs encoded with secret keys to change their zkCat’s appearance and metadata.

The Aleo Cap, powered by 9dcc

9dcc created The Aleo Cap uniquely for zkHouse attendees. The coveted cap features Aleo branding in an all-black design, with an engraved adjustable buckle and embedded Networked Product™ hardware. 

Attendees could “socialize” their caps by tapping the monochromatic embroidered "9" on the back left to interact with Aleo's digital ecosystem. Once they scanned the “9” patch on the garment, they could claim their Certificate of Authenticity and create a 9dcc account.

This is the first launch within 9dcc’s “Powered by 9dcc” ecosystem, where the crypto-native luxury fashion brand aims to bring its world-class design, manufacturing process, and chipped digital engagement technology to select partners, including Aleo. 

”I enjoyed every moment with every Aleo team member and grantees like Demox Labs, Puzzle, and V23!”  ZK Lim, Aleo Ambassador

We awarded over $300K

Over the four days in Istanbul, zkHouse connected people, empowered projects, and gave away lots of prizes. Here's a snapshot of the stats, including the number of attendees, Github link submissions, and the total rewards handed out to developers. 

We hope to see you at our next ZK event

Aleo zkHouse proved how magical zero-knowledge can be when we all come together to explore its possibilities. From building new DApps, delving into the latest research, and pitching projects to investors, our collective passion brought a fresh, exciting energy to ZK — that we hope to carry forward into future events.

The Aleo Events Team organizes events for our developer community that take you deeper into zero-knowledge technology. Bookmark our events page to stay on top of all the upcoming IRL conferences, meetups, and hackathons.

Until next time!