Credit: Dubai Government

Credit: Dubai Government

Smart Dubai announces winners of the 2nd Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) has recently announced the winners of this year’s global Blockchain Challenge. The announcement was made at the Blockchain Challenge Presentation and Awarding Ceremony, which took place at the Future Blockchain Summit.

This year’s Blockchain Challenge attracted 200 applications from companies in 85 cities across 44 countries. The contest aims to identify the most promising blockchain solutions from the private sector that can assist in the implementation of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

Announced in October 2016 by SDO and the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Blockchain strategy has the objective of transforming Dubai into the first Government in the world to execute all applicable transactions on the Blockchain by 2020

Among the 17 finalists, Ireland’s AID Tech came in first, followed by the UAE’s Smart Crowd and the USA’s Codex. The top 3 winners will receive a total of US$45,000 for their innovation blockchain solutions presented in the challenge, supporting the strategy that aims to make Dubai the first blockchain-powered city within two years. The top 3 winners will also have the opportunity to network with government stakeholders and potentially develop their ideas further in Dubai.

The 17 selected proposals covered 16 industries. The finalists also went through training by a technology startup organisation, followed by the pitching of their concepts to an audience of government leaders, investors and experts from private and public institutions.

 “The global Blockchain Challenge is an important empowerment activity that harnesses the entrepreneurship skills of the private sector achieve Dubai’s ambition of being an industry leader in Blockchain and establishing a Blockchain run ecosystem in the city,” said Her Excellency Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Director General of SDO.

According to Mr Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government, startup challenges such as the Smart Dubai Blockchain Challenge is essential to propel the growth of the blockchain environment in Dubai.

The Dubai Blockchain Strategy revolves around three main pillars: (1) increasing government efficiency by transferring 100% of applicable government transactions to blockchain, (2) creating a blockchain industry and ecosystem and, (3) becoming global leaders in the advancement of blockchain technology.

In October 2017, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) became the world’s first government entity to implement all of its transactions through blockchain technology. DLD has created the Blockchain system using a smart and secure database that records all real estate contracts, including lease registrations, and links them with the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), the telecommunications system, and various property related bills.

In late October, the Dubai Internet of Things (IoT) strategy was launched, seeking to build the world’s most advanced Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in the world’s smartest city to improve people’s lives.

Last month, Dubai launched a blockchain-powered decentralised learning platform for digital skill development. It also launched a blockchain-enabled virtual marketplace Tourism 2.0 that connects potential buyers directly to hotels and tour operators. 

Just last week, Dubai unveiled a blockchain-based corporate registry project. The project aims to streamline the process of setting up and operating a business, roll out digital exchange of trade licenses and related documentation for all business activities, and ensure regulatory compliance across Dubai’s business ecosystem.

Currently, over 20 government and private sector blockchain use cases are in the proof of concept (POC) phase, some of these applications facilitate the renting and buying a property, obtaining non-objections certificates, managing the lifecycle of a vehicle, licensing medical institutions and doctors, obtaining e-prescriptions, enrolling and managing students, and ensuring food safety.

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