Surf's up just in time for the return of blockchain conference season. Solana Labs today announced the latest iteration of its series of hackathons that Riptide . The Global Hackathon will attract developers from around the world to compete for $5 million in prizes and seed funding.

"The Solana hackathon is a great opportunity for the community to come together and learn about technology while trying to build projects that could have a real impact on the development of the Solana ecosystem," Matty Taylor, head of growth at Solana Labs, told Decrypt.

Taylor said the blockchain competition will have five tracks: payments, DeFi, Web3, gaming and DAO, with $50,000 going to the winner of each first-place prize. The grand prize is $65,000 worth of USDC stablecoin, three passes to the upcoming Solana conference, and the opportunity to present the winning project to the Solana community.

The hackathon will take place Feb. 2 through March 17 to coincide with the inaugural Solana Hacker House World Tour. The event is first and foremost an online hackathon, Taylor said.

"Anyone with an Internet connection can participate," he said. "But if hackers want to meet and work together/form teams with others in person, we have hacker houses in several cities around the world."

The global "hacker house" will be a public workspace where developers can work on projects and interact with like-minded people. Solana Labs' first hacker house is located in Los Angeles, with plans to open offices in Seattle, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow, Hong Kong and Prague.

Sometimes referred to as the "ethereum killer," Solana was created in 2017 during the ICO boom and raised over $25 million through various private and public sales rounds before going live in March 2020. Since then, Solana has been available in the DeFi and NFT spaces; since launch, the Magic Eden and Solanart markets have brought in a combined $1.1 billion in irreplaceable token sales. DappRadar.com .

At the last event called Ignition, over 6,000 participants and 568 projects were interested in the Solana hackathon.

"The web3 community needs to continue to educate people currently working in web2, traditional finance, academia and other industries on how public blockchain can improve the global economy, and I believe the hackathon played a key role in that effort," Taylor said.