Gaia-X hackathon#3: summary and key achievements

deltaDAO Team
7 min readApr 14, 2022

Gaia-X represents the beginning of a new movement for data ethics in Europe with the aim of creating a data infrastructure in which the values of openness, transparency, and trust are given the utmost importance.

A great opportunity to foster technical solutions that represent these values is the Gaia-X hackathons.

The third Gaia-X hackathon took place from March 28th to 29th with over 380 participants from more than 25 countries. Together, we worked towards the common goal of building a decentralized, secure, and transparent digital ecosystem for the European data economy. Six hacking tracks helped make this vision a reality, with great contributions like Trust Frameworks, SSI, and the Minimal Viable Gaia-X (MVG).

We are proud to contribute to this European joint project since the first Gaia-X Hackathon and to witness the development and remarkable increase in the number of participants.

We co-organized two of the six hacking tracks: The Service & Tool Support Track and the Deployment & Minimal Viable Gaia-X Track. The following key objectives were achieved:

  • Enabling a minimal implementation of the Gaia-X Trust Framework
  • Bootstrapping the first Gaia-X compliant federation
  • No single point of failure or control in the stack
  • Technical data sovereignty
  • Trust and transparency through self-descriptions
  • Rapid deployment on any infrastructure
  • Visualizing the success story of our MVG

Gaia-X Lab and Gaia-X Trust Framework
In the Service & Tool Support Track, we showed what we have built for the Gaia-X Lab.

The Gaia-X Lab is a development team under the Gaia-X CTO office and writes prototypes to technically validate functional and technical hypotheses made by the Gaia-X Working Groups. The Lab accelerates the development of external open-source software (OSS) projects and identifies missing functional components in the Gaia-X specifications.

deltaDAO is a day one member of the Gaia-X Lab and focuses on developing components for the Gaia-X compliance and trust framework.

During our work for the Gaia-X Lab, we implemented a Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) solution to issue signed Gaia-X participant credentials. The SSI Kit, provided by our partners walt.id, establishes an identity infrastructure layer to issue, store, present, and verify credentials in a cryptographically secure and privacy-respecting way. This enables a trusted environment with no lock-in mechanism, a so-called triangle of trust.

Gaia-X participant credentials can now be used on our MVG Portal to confirm that you are a Gaia-X participant. Moreover, we created a Gaia-X Registry solution, which contains a list of defined trust anchors. Trust anchors are Gaia-X endorsed entities responsible to manage certificates to sign claims. Our SSI solution combined with the registry implements one of the Gaia-X core services, setting a foundation for the Trust Framework.

If you want to try it yourself, you can find our onboarding portal at http://onboarding-portal.lab.gaia-x.eu/ and our registry at http://registry.lab.gaia-x.eu/. The source code is completely open-source under Apache 2.0 license.

Bootstrapping the first Gaia-X compliant federation
The Deployment & Minimal Viable Gaia-X Track continued what was developed during the last two Gaia-X hackathons and brought us one step closer towards a Gaia-X compliant federated ecosystem where data can be published, collated, and shared in a trusted environment and users always retain sovereignty over their data. Made possible by Ocean Protocol, Web3.0 and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The MVG, the first working prototype of most Gaia-X federation services, is currently the only platform to bootstrap Gaia-X compliant federations with a clear business model for all participants. We envision our portal embedded into the larger Gaia-X federation of ecosystems that share the same trust framework.

No single point of failure or control in the stack
Our MVG Demonstrator is a fully decentralized ecosystem, meaning it is not owned by any single entity. The decentralized data infrastructure, based on DLT, ensures an open, transparent, trustless, and privacy-preserving way to consume and offer data. It removes single points of failure and automatically creates audit trails and data collection plans, that contribute to compliance and allow provenance of all data assets.

Technical Data Sovereignty
We showcased how to bootstrap a federated Minimal Viable Gaia-X ecosystem, and how it can enable technical data sovereignty. One of the core features of the MVG is a data access mechanism called Compute-to-Data (CtD). CtD only offers compute access to your data, allowing audited algorithms to analyze your data, without ever disclosing the content of your data sets.

Trust and transparency through self-descriptions
Moreover, we showed how self-descriptions and service characteristics contribute to establishing trust and transparency in a Gaia-X ecosystem.

For this and in order to better demonstrate the infrastructure behind our MVG, we dived deeper into our backend architecture including the Kubernetes cluster and the federation services.

Rapid deployment on any infrastructure
Furthermore, we demonstrated how to deploy a federation service on multiple Cloud Services Provider (CSP) infrastructures leveraging VMware Tanzu. This enables service portability, rapid deployment and scaling of Gaia-X Federation Services without a lock-in regarding specific CSP infrastructures.

If you want to read more about multi-cloud deployments and service portability of Minimal Federation Services powered by Ocean Protocol, we highly recommend our blog post on this topic:
https://deltadao.medium.com/gaia-x-hackathon-3-service-portability-with-the-vmware-tanzu-community-edition-ecb3a7b360ea

Visualizing the success story of our MVG
To better visualize the success story of our MVG, we implemented a high-level statistics app. Since the creation of the MVG, over 270 test data sets have been published and over 328.000 transactions have been executed.

If you want to see even more stats, like a timeline of the total transactions, visit https://stats.minimal-gaia-x.eu/.

Proof of Attendance token
As a bonus, and to reward our early supporters in a gamified way, we issued our second Gaia-X Hackathon Proof of Attendance token to over 70 participants that used the Gaia-X test network during the hackathon.

Conclusion
The 3rd Gaia-X hackathon was another important stepstone to make the vision of a data economy for everybody a reality. Together with Ocean Protocol and the Gaia-X community, we aim to open data silos and create an open data infrastructure for Europe.

We keep building. For data sovereignty, data protection, privacy, and European values.

About deltaDAO
deltaDAO AG envisions to unlock the full value of data for businesses while preserving data sovereignty, privacy and custody. We provide GDPR-compliant data economy solutions, allowing businesses to consume and offer data services in the Gaia-X network, while remaining in control of their IP and sensitive data, thus meeting GDPR requirements.

A place to publish, discover, select, and consume data service offerings are our portals, which provide a user-interface to interact with core federation service functions. Portal users can utilize federated analysis, machine learning (ML) algorithms and AI (Artificial Intelligence) services to extract valuable information from data offerings or to offer access to their sensitive data without the risk of exposing it to unnecessary third-party or compliance risks. One of the core features of the Minimal Viable Gaia-X we created with the support of Ocean Protocol is a data access mechanism called Compute-to-Data (CtD). CtD enables data owners to grant only compute access to their data without the need to create copies in other environments they do not control. The data itself can remain with the data owner in a secured environment to minimize the risk of data-leaks.

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