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IMDA launches Blockchain Challenge to promote Blockchain Adoption

IMDA launches Blockchain Challenge to promote Blockchain Adoption

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IMDA’s Blockchain Challenge aims to promote awareness and adoption of the technology; and encourage companies to explore business model innovation and/or transformation arising from the technology.

Through its Blockchain Challenge, participants are challenged to produce successful Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) or Proofs-of-concept (POCs) solving industry-facing challenges.

Participants can choose from two project categories: (1) Enterprise – Projects that have the potential to improve operational efficiency, e.g. process enhancement, automation of manual tasks, reduction of reconciliation tasks; (2) Transformation – Projects that have the potential to enable business model innovation, or have implications in how businesses, Government and society interact, and are associated with institutional change.

Interested applicants may submit their request online for a copy of the Blockchain Challenge terms and conditions at https://www.imda.gov.sg/blockchain-challenge. Entries for this round of the Blockchain Challenge are to be submitted by noon, 28 May 2018.

Shortlisted projects must then develop a MVP or POC within six months, with successful projects receiving prizes of $50,000 (for Enterprise) or $100,000 (for Transformation). Separate to the challenge, IMDA is also keen to work with (a) companies interested in trialing blockchain or distributed ledger technology within their environment for further use case identification and sector identification; (b) blockchain or distributed ledger technology companies who wish to work with IMDA. 

As the strategic partner for this Challenge, SGInnovate will be providing IMDA with access to its blockchain community networks. These networks represent potential partners and participants for the Challenge, where they may collectively drive exploratory solutions.

Applications beyond Fintech

While blockchain technologies are mostly centered in the fintech space, the technology has room to be applied across other sectors as well. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are four ways blockchain solutions could grow in maturity and adoption – grouped according to the extent of a solution’s complexity, coordination as well as novelty: (i) Single use, focused solutions; (ii) Localized private network solutions; (iii) System replacers; and (iv) Transformative systems. As solutions become more advanced and move along the proposed scale, ‘Transformation’ tier solutions could affect significant institutional change that digitally disrupt and transform entire industries.

For example, in America, Walmart and IBM are working with partners such as Unilever, Nestle and Dole to explore blockchain in their food supply chains. The entire supply chain moving onto the blockchain enables streamlined, trusted, transparent tracking of food safety (from farming to the sale in store). This will reduce the time taken to investigate issues such as food-borne illnesses from weeks to days.

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