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The Opt Out Writing Contest
by Āut Labs & HackerNoon

3 contests

9 Topics

$9,000 (in USDT) prize pool for the top 18 stories


Submissions open

Jan 9th, 2024

Submissions close

Oct 9th, 2024 11:59 PM EST

Result Announcements

Top 10 stories: Every Month

Winner announcement: Every 3 Months

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The Opt Out Writing Contest

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Āut Labs and HackerNoon are glad to announce "Opt out": a call to all "hacktivists" and thinkers who dare to question and challenge the status quo, the societal construct where we live in. Using decentralized technology and collective autonomy to shake its very foundations - made of bureaucracy, institutions, and authoritarian legacy.


The Opt Out competition grants $9000 in USDT to the best writers, and it expands over three (3) main themes for nine months - making it one of the longest writing contests in the history of Web3.


It combines the core principles of decentralized technologies, inviting hackers and writers to push them forward - exploring these concepts from a creative and/or technical standpoint alike.


We start by opting out of a system that doesn’t represent us, and after 9 months we arrive to define a whole new #system shaped through collective autonomy.

[Active Contest: Opt Out of a System that doesn’t represent you.]

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Decentralized technologies are designed to implement “unstoppable, self-enforcing rules (and logic)” at a systemic level - pretty much the very definition of Autonomy. And yet, a quick buck or a brief moment in the spotlight constantly draws us back - with enthusiastic disclaimers about “crypto main adoption.”


💡 Reminder: we won't take back our rights by "dialoguing with institutions."


Opt out goes in the opposite direction, and it’s a way to genuinely reclaim the ethos behind decentralized technologies, communities, and economies.


Decentralization gives us the chance to rebuild a more human society from the ground up - from financial systems to governance and the very concept of “state.”


We have the responsibility to use that chance, and do something with it.


So don’t settle. Don't negotiate. Don't compromise.


Opt out of a system that doesn't represent you.


By “opting out”, we commit to more than a mere gesture – we are opting out of a society that doesn’t represent us, and in turn, we're accessing a web of trust where connections and actions are verifiable and intentional.

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About Āut Labs


Āut is a collective building decentralized standards for self-sovereign Identity (SSID, IAM), Reputation and Communities (DAOs, Hacktivists, Network States, etc.).

A laboratory of experimentation, pushing the boundaries imposed by the status quo.

Our protocols are designed to implement autonomy and personal freedom at a systemic level - in an effort to accelerate the transition from hierarchical power structures, to self-organizing forms of coordination.

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3 Contests, $9000 (in USDT Prizepool), 18 Winners!

There will be a total of 3 contests. These contests unfold over nine (9) months, with three (3) core themes. There are 6 prizes for each thematic contest.

With the “Opt Out” program, we want to give people a feeling of excitement, and anger, and rebellion. Letting them feel how we've been weaved into an interwoven cage - where we individually hold the thread, but we can't districate it amongst the lines; therefore, we sew our own labyrinth that ends up strangling us in its grip.

How we've been trapped in a nightmare, giving up our own true freedom to exist and act, in exchange for an intermittent dream amongst those visions of despair. As if we were Winston Smith in 1984, "Opt out" is that empty diary that we find - where with angry movements, we scrap "FUCK THE SYSTEM" over and over again, in the impossibility of formulating a structured thought.

Opt Out goes beyond the mere act of defiance, the rebellion of oneself towards a faceless enemy. It's rather the evolution of that initial angry scribble into a coherent, structured narrative. It's a non-place where the chaotic energy of rebellion is channeled into the creation of something a-new. The journey from a primal scream of dissent to the articulate, collective voice of revolution.

Theme after theme, month after month - writers contribute to this collective diary. Not just by rejecting the nightmare they've been handed, but rather by re-appropriating their own power - re-awakening to their own potential to reshape reality. Here are the details of the three thematic contests:

Theme 1: Opt Out of a System that doesn’t represent you.





January 9th till April 9th

Contest tags

#optout, #autonomy, #identity, and #selfsovereignty



$3000 in USDT,  6 winners! Awards for the two top stories for each tag

Theme 2: Create your own Standard.


Coming Soon

Theme 3: Break ties with the Status Quo.


 Inactive. Starts in July 2024

Active Contest: Opt Out of a System that doesn’t represent you.

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The Opt Out Writing Contest Rules & Guidelines

Who Can Enter the Contest?​


Anyone over the age of 18. There are no location restrictions.

Can I Write Under a Pen Name?


Yes! You can use your real name on your HackerNoon profile, a fake name, or even create a persona to write under.

How Can I Enter the Contest?


1. Signup or login with your Web3 wallet. Details here.

2. Log into HackerNoon with your Web3 wallet to submit your entry. Details here.

3. Use this template to enter the contest.

4. Each entry must include the topic-specific tag (e.g., #autonomy, #identity, etc.) along with the general competition tags (#optout).

5. Post your story on Twitter using the #āut and #OptOut hashtags and tagging @opt_au and @hackernoon.

Can I use AI to write a story?

Sure, you can! We will notice it, though, and you will be disqualified 😇 Humans can write beautifully - and we can’t wait to read beautiful human submissions.

How Long Will the Contest Run?​


The contest consists of 3 themes and will run for nine months. We will announce the shortlisted top ten stories every month. The final results and winner for each round will be announced at the end of each thematic contest.

Contest #1: Jan 9th - April 9th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: April 2024

Contest #2: April 10th - July 10th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: July 2024

Contest #3: July 11th - October 9th, 2024

Finalists Announcement: Every Month

Winners Announcement: October 2024

Can I submit more than one entry to the contest?


Of course. Each story submission shall be considered a new entry into the writing contest.

How are the winners selected?


Each month, we’ll take the top 10 story submissions that receive the most eyeballs (real humans, not bots!). We will announce the shortlisted top ten stories from every month. The editors will vote for the top stories of each month. The winners will be announced at the end of each contest.

Can I win more than one prize?


Yes! If you submit multiple stories, each has the chance to win.

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