Startups from the US, Indonesia and Canada Win Top 3 Spots at Smart Dubai’s 3rd Global Blockchain Challenge

Wednesday 03 April 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Smart Dubai has concluded the third annual Global Blockchain Challenge, part of the Future Blockchain Summit 2019, which drew to a close on Tuesday, April 2, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, revealing the top three winners.

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% of applicable transactions using an encrypted database by 2020.

The 2019 edition of the Challenge received 700 applications from 79 countries around the world since its launch last January. The judging committee shortlisted 20 entries to compete in the Challenge after completing the preparation and training phase with the DFA.

Participating projects covered 20 different sectors including real estate, asset management, payments, energy, education, healthcare, and supply chain management, among others. In the final stage, finalists gave detailed presentations showcasing the Blockchain solutions and projects they had developed. Three entries were then selected as the winners, receiving a total of $45,000 in monetary prizes. Quantstamp from the USA won first prize, while Igrowchain from Indonesia, and Grayblock from Canada, won second and third, respectively.

Smart Dubai’s Director General H.E. 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 have 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. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity and thank the team at Smart Dubai and Dubai Future Accelerators who were able to successfully reach out to 700 Blockchain companies around the globe, raising the bar once again and setting an example of hard work coupled with a vision for success.” Belhoul added. 

For his part, H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, applauded the projects taking part in the Global Blockchain Challenge 2019, saying they “strive to meet the aspirations of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, reflecting the significant leaps the emirate has made in the sector, which have increased its appeal to Blockchain start-ups looking to work closely with the Dubai Government to develop an integrated Blockchain ecosystem.”

Last year, the three winners – selected from among 17 finalists from 14 countries, in turn shortlisted from 200 applicants – were Ireland’s AID Tech in first place, with the UAE’s Smart Crowd and the USA’s Codex coming in second and third, respectively.

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy revolves around three main pillars: First, increasing government efficiency by transferring all applicable government transactions to the Blockchain network; second, creating a blockchain industry and ecosystem; and finally, leading the thinking and advancement of Blockchain technology around the world.

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