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The Dutch Blockchain Hackathon: co-creating a new Operating System for society

490 days ago

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The first Dutch Blockchain Hackathon was a big success, and also the biggest of its kind in the world. Around 400 people burned the midnight oil last weekend in the Big Building, trying to come up with ways to use blockchain technology to tackle pressing societal issues and take the first steps of actually creating real products and real solutions and use the groundbreaking technology to its fullest potential.

Though there are no real winners during this hackathon in the classical sense of the word, there are teams in all five tracks who are further along than others, with a more complete prototype or a well formulated idea or solution for specific challenges in each track. Teams are awarded frisbees and the team with the most frisbees can rightfully call itself the track winner, and receive €7.500 and a demo slot on the European Showcase conference held in Brussels in April 2017. The runner up in each track wins €2.500 and both have access the Acceleration Track after the Hackathon. 

But that’s not all. There are also demo spots for the Dutch Blockchain Conference 2017 and for the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, one of the most famous and biggest music & tech showcase festivals in the world. Here are the winners for each of the five tracks:

Identity: giving control back to refugees
Trust and identity go hand in hand, because how can we verify whether someone really is who he says he is? And how can we make sure that our personal information is only accessible to the right people or institutions? 

The Refugee E-dentity team seeks to solve the refugee problem from both a refugee and government perspective, by using a combination of a secure authentication passport based on local biometric data, and storing this data in a blockchain. That means the refugee is in control again and knows exactly what information he or she needs to share in the asylum process. There will even be an option for family members back home to know the location and status of the refugee. 

Energy: sharing green energy
How much of the energy we use every day is really green? And what happens with the energy we don’t use? How can we promote trust and use when it comes to sustainable energy?

TOBLOCKCHAIN wants to increase trust in green energy certificates on the one hand, and to make green energy popular amongst prosumers, on the other. This is why they’ve created a product named “Power to share” where people are able to share green energy with friends and their community, by using Whatsapp.

Re-inventing government: helping those in need, without centralized bureaucracy
For minimum income families or citizens in need of extra care, getting the support they need takes up a lot of time. There’s a lot of bureaucracy involved, so how can those in need get social support, without navigating through the government maze of red tape?

The team from the municipal government of Zuidhorn came up with an app that allows people to see which social services offer what, whether it’s special medical care or a bicycle for their child, in the blink of an eye, without administration and bureaucracy.

International trade & entrepreneurship: a solution for a tricky new law
The new Dutch DBA law for working contracts between freelancers and their clients is controversial to say the least. Contracts can be denied by the government months later, creating uncertainty, the possibility of fines and back taxes and freelancers losing contracts altogether.  

Team Zissou’s product solves the trust issue between freelancers and clients, by making it easy to set up and fulfill indisputable contracts.  Through a Chamber of Commerce portal and app, freelancers can set up contracts with their clients that are easily auditable and indisputable, preventing possible fines or rejections from the Dutch IRS to freelancers and their clients.

Future of pensions: proof for an increasingly flexible workforce
The workforce is changing rapidly. People don’t work for the same employer for 40 years anymore, they go from job to job, are working more and more independently, throughout the world. How do we make sure everyone gets the pension they deserve? 

BEN #2 wants to solve this by building a more transparent pension system for both customers and pension companies, by making every individual have an auditable account that allows them to mathematically proof payments into the system.

Check out the aftermovie! 


489 days ago

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