Category Archives: hackathon

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South Korean Province Replaces Loyalty Scheme With Digital Currency

The local government in the South Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk-do has plans to issue its own digital currency to replace a state loyalty scheme.

Gyeongsangbuk-do officials will reportedly partner with the blockchain startup Orbs, to develop and issue ‘Gyeongbuk Coin’ to replace the current ‘Hometown Love Gift Card’ being used by residents. Gyeongbuk Coin will be backed by blockchain technology, although local media reports do not indicate if the state plans to develop its own or use one already developed.

The scheme plans to issue KRW 100 billion worth each year, the same total as that issued in the loyalty scheme. Coins will be bought on an exchange using the South Korean won, and can then be spent at participating businesses using smartphone QR codes.

Chung Sung-Hyun, head of the science and technology policy department in Gyeongsangbuk-do said the main issues still to be addressed include informing merchants on how the digital coins can be used and how the process works, as well as creating separate programs and issuing the coins. On the subject of cryptocurrencies, he described them as a ”core technology to be accepted.”

A forward-thinking country

South Korea is recognized as having some of the most progressive, forward-thinking attitudes towards blockchain globally.

Most recently, the country announced it would host a blockchain awareness hackathon as part of the 2018 Blockchain Promotion Week. Scheduled to take place from 26 to 30 November, the hackathon aims to boost public awareness of blockchain itself and show society and industries its true potential.

A blockchain reality television show is planned to hit the screens in South Korea this October, titled ”Blockbattle: Who’s the next Satoshi?” Five episodes are scheduled to air, following blockchain-experienced applicants and a range of international experts from technology, business, law, marketing, and finance to assist them through the various challenges.

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South Korea Hosts Blockchain Awareness Hackathon

A government-backed hackathon has been announced in South Korea as part of the 2018 Blockchain Promotion Week.

As reported by local news outlet Money Today, the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency (KIPA) will be hosting a 2018 Blockchain Grand Challenge. Sponsoring the event is the South Korean Ministry of Science, Technology and Information.

Race to innovate

The Blockchain Promotion Week event will be taking place from 26 to 30 November to boost public awareness of the technology and demonstrate what it can add to society and industries.

The hackathon challenge, announced on 17 August by KISA, is a chance for developers to create solutions for social issues, distributed apps (Dapps), as well as innovations for public and private industries with blockchain, “providing national benefits”.

Participants have until 28 September to sign up for the hackathon; the winners will receive “17 awards” from sponsors including the President of KIPA as well as a prize pot of KRW 100 million (USD 90,450).

Additionally, winners will be granted some significant opportunities, as written by Money Today, such as support for internship opportunities, participation in overseas hackathons and employment support.

Director of KIPA, Kim Seok-hwan said, “The use of blockchain technology will lead to an innovative change in people’s lives. By participating in this competition, everyone will have the opportunity to participate and contribute.”

Competition time

Competition that drives blockchain innovation at grassroots levels is proving to be rather popular, especially in the format of hackathons, with large prizes from entities such as the European Union (EU) up for grabs.

South Korea has a rather bullish approach to injecting blockchain into public discourse; as recently reported, a new reality game show created by Asia Economy TV called ‘Blockbattle – Who’s the Next Satoshi?’ will be reaching television screen in mid-October.

Contestants will battle it out in a similar manner to that of the hackathon; teams will “…go through a series of presentations, one-on-one battles, and other team competitions”.

Other news

South Korea is undoubtedly one of the foremost prominent nations in blockchain. Heightened levels of discussion surrounding many facets of blockchain technology have been taking place at the National Assembly, with topics including initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the Jeju Island Blockchain Hub proposal on the table.

 

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€100K Prize to Be Won at EU Blockchain Hackathon

The European Union (EU) is offering a EUR 100,000 prize to the winning team of an upcoming blockchain hackathon.

The event is scheduled to take place June this year in Brussels, jointly held by the European Commission, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and its Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. Participants will compete to develop the best blockchain-based integrated solution to counterfeiting.

Dubbed the “blockathon”, the EU agencies have worked jointly to assemble the event, with the premise of discovering the most talented developers. The blockathon will focus specifically on tech applications that enforce intellectual property rights, with the winner entitled to a prize of EUR 100,000 (approximately USD 124,000).

The EU agencies involved in organizing the event stated that the competition is necessary to find a solution to the issue of counterfeit products in the European market. They estimate that 43 million EU citizens purchased counterfeit goods unknowingly last year, with current preventive systems inefficient and working in silos that criminal networks use to their advantage.

The executive director of the EUIPO, Antonio Campinos, believes that blockchain could be the solution to this problem: “The EUIPO is determined to explore the potential of blockchain to interconnect systems and ensure security and immutability of data in order to add trust to our legitimate ecosystem for the benefits of citizens, enforcers and companies alike”.

Prospective applicants have until 30 April to apply.

The idea exists in the private sector already

Blockchain technology has been utilized as an effective tool to establish and protect intellectual property rights since the early days of its development. A number of private sector companies and startups have developed platforms for just this use.

IPCHAIN Database is one such platform. It claims to protect intellectual property through a decentralized system that provides proof of authorship, while securely protecting shared content and transferring intellectual property. It is advertised as serving the needs of scientists, artists and inventors.
Bernstein is an alternative option that is available in the private sector. The platform is promoted predominantly to companies looking to secure intellectual property assets and innovation processes through the blockchain.

 

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