Blockchain helps to resolve real-world issues: 2 cases of tech use at Openhack Hack4Future
In early May, Waves took part in the global online hackathon Openhack Hack4Future as a tech partner.
Article by Openhack 2020 Australia tech partner Waves developer advocate Vladimir Zhuravlev.
Over 200 hackathon participants from all over the world built and pitched their solutions to one of the three challenges — “Covid19 spread tracking”, “Bushfires risk management” and “Smart cities - renewable energy to combat Global Warming.“
Hackathon participants vs. pandemic spread
Under the current global circumstances, the challenge focused on tracking the spread of the coronavirus infection was especially vital. Certainly, the IT industry can offer, and is working on innovative solutions for fighting the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, as Bill Gates recently said, the introduction of digital certificates for tracking infections and recoveries, as well as vaccinations, would be an efficient measure.
One of the examples presented at the hackathon to inspire the hackers for their projects is a coronavirus tracking tool, based on the Waves Protocol and recently developed by Waves community member Christophe Verdot. His tool is special due to its decentralization: data entered into the tracker cannot be altered or deleted as it is stored on the blockchain, which ensures transparency for the monitoring of the spread of the infection. More information about it, as well as a step-by-step guide for web developers is available.
A challenge at Openhack Hack4Future 2020 Australia tackled the same issue: participants were expected to use blockchain and the Waves infrastructure to build their projects. To get developers started, a two-part crash course on blockchain was released specifically for the hackathon. It is now publicly available, and I suggest that you watch it on YouTube! These videos will be an excellent crash course on blockchain technology.
In the “Best Tech Solution” nomination, the winning team was “Intel Away”. This team managed to create a fully-fledged decentralized app, including a smart contract in the Ride programming language and a web interface for its use. The winning project can be explored here, additionally the smart contract code can be found in Waves Explorer.
You can learn about the plans for promoting the tool in an interview that Thiago Capuano, Intel Away’s leader and an active Waves community member, gave to Future Position X, one of the partners of Openhack 2020 Australia.
Based on the hackathon’s results, its global jury, on which I had the pleasure to be a part of, alongside Future Position’s X Henrik Dahl and Canberra Innovation Network’s Petr Adamek, selected the winners in three nominations. The winners’ pitches and the jury’s comments are available in the closing ceremony video.
Certificates for the participants
Hackathon participants did substantial work, and, once the event was over, a discussion arose on presenting them with an extra award — the opportunity to add their participation, or win, on their CV.
Then I remembered the Certificado tool, a platform for issuing digital certificates. I started developing it several months ago and described the process in detail in the tutorial “How to build your first blockchain-based app in 15 minutes”. Basically, everything was almost ready for issuing certificates to Openhack Hack4Future participants.
I suggested to Monika Lionaite, the Openhack 2020 Australia CEO & founder, an idea of making hackathon diplomas more valuable to its participants by issuing them on the blockchain with the use of the Certificado system.
Certificates issued on the Waves blockchain with Certificado can be attached by participants to their CVs as PDF files and verified at any time by any internet user with the authenticity verifier.
For example, you can verify the authenticity of the certificate of Thiago Capuano, a hackathon winner, with Certificado authenticity verifier! The Openhack Hack4Future team liked the Certificado system so much that they requested certificates for all of its members to commemorate the successful hackathon organization on the blockchain.
Separately, I would like to thank Monika for participation in the certificate PDF file design and preparation of a video on certificate validation on the blockchain.
You can learn more about the use of blockchain for certificate issuance in my article “Educational certificates on the blockchain: why and how?”. The system is ready for integration, and I’ll be glad to offer it to everyone interested in adding an option for automated issuance of immutable certificates to their education projects.
Openhack 2020 Australia once again demonstrated blockchain’s huge potential for resolving acute global issues, such as curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Go ahead and use blockchain in your projects!