During the Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai, Smart Dubai in cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation held the 3rd Global Blockchain Challenge. 20 blockchain startups were shortlisted with only three wining. UNLOCK attended the event. Blockchain startups presenting their pitches who didn’t win included Creanest, DEIP World, Digitix.io , DSC, Evera, Enertia, FFQuest, gigecoin, MedBlock, Nydro Energy, OleSports, PO8, TE Food, and a few more.
Interestingly there were no Blockchain startups from the Arab world among the 20 finalists. However there were a few intriguing blockchain startups that did not win. Medblock for example co-founded by 20 year-old Naseema Khalique based in UK. MedBlock hopes to empower patients to control and distribute their own medical data records utilizing the protective provisions of blockchain technology. It is utilizing IBM Hyperledger Fabric. PO8 from the Bahamas looks to leverage the blockchain technology to recover and reshape ownership of sunken artifacts from our ocean floors. There was even a startup called Ole Sport which will utilize blockchain for the soccer industry around the world.
As for the winners Quantstamp from the USA won first prize. Quantstamp, is a strong startup that secures smart contracts on the blockchain by verifying the code. The audit smart contract codes before they go public to ensure that they cannot be breached. Don Ho, Head of Business Development presented Quantstamp at the challenge. Quantstamp received $20,000.
The Second prize winner was Igrowchain from Indonesia. Igrowchain is utilizing blockchain to connect farmers, investors, and buyers to build food resilience by utilizing their respective advantages. Jim Oklahoma, Chief Business Development officer presented Igrowchain. Igrowchain received $15,000.
Finally in third place was Grayblock Power from Canada. It is a startup that allows investment into electricity sector giving them access to competitive returns from real electricity assets which are inflation-adjusted and uncorrelated to the market. Chris Ciaravino, Founder of Grayblock Power presented the company. GrayBlock Power received a prize of $10,000
The third edition of the Challenge received over 700 applications from 79 countries around the world since its launch last January. Smart Dubai’s director general, Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, said: “Now in its third edition, the Global Blockchain Challenge has seen remarkable improvement in the quality and creativity of the submitted projects, which, coupled with the surge in the overall number of applications, clearly underlines its global appeal, as well as the increased appetite for Blockchain technology as a whole. This initiative cements Dubai’s status as a world leader in this advanced sector, and reflects our wise leadership’s commitment to empowering entrepreneurs to put innovative technologies at people’s service in Dubai, establishing the emirate as a full-fledged smart city.”
Dubai Future Foundation’s CEO, Khalfan Belhoul, said: “Participating in such global events further cements Dubai’s position as a global hub for innovation and a testbed for emerging technologies. Attracting and retaining talents and creating future opportunities for those with promising potential is a well-established approach embedded in our DNA at Dubai Future Foundation and is a step towards realizing His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for Dubai as the leading digitally-connected smart city. Our wise leadership in Dubai has realized early on the need to having a futuristic mindset that will take us into the future. While enormous, this task is achievable through determination, and clarity of vision.”
Launched by Smart Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), the Challenge is one of the initiatives and projects falling under the umbrella of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, and aims to promote innovative applications of Blockchain technology across various sectors. It seeks to transform the Dubai Government into the first administration in the world to conduct 100 per cent of applicable transactions using an encrypted database by 2020.