The Ethereum blockchain technology can upgrade and/or improve a lot of things, across various industry sectors. However, leveraging this technology to build solutions for social good is even better. With this in mind, Consensys partnered with Topcoder for their second edition of the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition (BSIC) Incubator.
The 6-week-long online program capitalized the Topcoder Community to ideate and create blockchain solutions for four pressing global issues:
- Reliable hardware
- Mechanisms for democracy
- Sustainable agriculture
- Support for refugees
Project teams participated in the hackathon from April 9- May 21, 2018 through the Topcoder Platform, and came up with some of the most incredible and out of the box ideas to help make the world a better place, for those in need.
In early June, the winners of the BSIC challenge were announced. Competitors were required to be part of a team and provide a solution for any one of the four sub-challenges.
The participants used Ethereum Developer Resources to create solutions across all four verticals. The challenge was styled as a hackathon to optimize the robust set of tools and infrastructure that the Ethereum Blockchain provides. Here’s a brief recap of the winning solutions, and the socio-political and/or socio-economic issues they hope to address.
- Winning Team: Kidner Project
- Team members: Sajida Zouarhi (SajZ), Noah Basri (Noah-Basri), Maroussia Arnault (Marou_Kid), Amelia Lintern-Smith (amelials), Clément Massonnaud (CleMass), Mathieu Vincens (Mathvincens)
Finding a match for kidney donors often takes months and a long wait — not to mention there are high costs involved. Kidner Project aims to facilitate more kidney transplants using cryptographic tools to protect patient privacy by running a matching algorithm design for kidney paired donation.
- Runner Up: Aphetor
- Team members: Alexander S. Blum (ablumBC), Meredith Finkelstein (msrobot0), Seth Weiner (sethweiner), Chris Jaroszewski (Cjaroszewski) , Peter Lyons (Anemas971)
Rapid advances in machine learning will result in exponential growth of battery-driven vehicles and drones within our immediate surroundings. Aphetor aims to automate the exchange of renewable energy and payments between machines in a blockchain by enabling early stage business cases to deploy and operate peer-to-peer renewable energy charging stations, accelerating a global transition to zero emission electric mobility.
Every 10 years, the United States Decennial Census is conducted to act as a representation of the makeup of the nation’s people. However, the current process of data collection is “ineffective, inaccurate, and untrusted.” Popchain aims to use the four pillars of “Open Census Protocol” — Extensibility, Anonymity, Verifiability, Decentralization to make “undercounted and under-represented” communities feel safe about contributing their personal information for the national census, and make the process less discriminatory, and more inclusive and diverse.
- Runner-up: Akshar:
- Team Members: Team Members:Rahul Bansal (rahulb), Siddharth Swarnkar (siddharthsoni), Sundari Narayan Swami (sswami), Bhavyaa Rastogi (krusherz), Carlos Rojas Noveron (alexandros), Dr. Hugh Gosnell (hugh_g)
In India, even a basic level of education is hard to come by for underprivileged children. Their problem can be attributed to four root causes: a high rate of teacher absenteeism (due to lack of incentives), low income for teachers, unregulated performance checks for both students and teachers, and donor fatigue.
Akshar (meaning “literate”), is a blockchain-based platform that connects donors, low-income private and government schools, auditors and teachers. The platform sets up a transparent, cyclical process that enables donors to keep track of their donations and eventually see results from the money they invest.
This sub-challenge witnessed a tie.
- Team 1: Greenblocks
- Team Members: Philipp Beer (Depose) Lewis Daly (lwilld), Billy Garrison (BillyGarrison)
Urban farming can be the answer to various sustainability issues. However, accumulating the capital and finalizing the paperwork for urban farming can be quite complicated and frustrating. Greenblocks is a decentralized application that aims to unlock the potential for urban farming by putting leasing agreements on the blockchain making them immutable and unfalsifiable through smart contracts. It also looks to provide a crowdfunding platform to farmers, enabling them to tap into a new type of capital. In short, Greenblocks aims to make cities sustainable and self-sufficient by making urban farming a way of life.
- Team 2: Thor
- Team Members: Ylli Vllasolli (Team-Thor), Charlotte Stephens (Charlotte-Thor), Bayo Akins (Bayoakins), Erica Sundberg ( e5r34t), Stephen Jackson (stevejaxon)
Every year, billions of dollars are lost in crop and livestock productions due to natural hazards and disasters in developing countries. In fact, weather-related disasters can slow down economic growth, especially when agriculture and food production accounts for a sizeable portion of GDP, and employment opportunities. Inaccurate or nonexistent weather forecasts affect farmers in many countries.
Thor is a global, open, and decentralized weather data platform which uses blockchain technology to remove silos of weather data, enable innovation, and create a borderless infrastructure to facilitate easy access to weather-related data. The platform aims to provide high-quality, accurate data through an incentivized model, to enable farmers make better choices and reduce financial losses.
- Winning Team: unCHAINed
- Team members: Trevor Campbell (tdcampbell), Todd Schultz (tschultz1216) Sam Blumenthal (sam.blumenthal), Gurmeet Budhraja (khojsolutions), Madhu Machavarapu (94madhu94), Urja Pawar (urjapawar)
The refugee crisis is a global concern. Today, more than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced across nations. Most of these refugees have no identification.
unCHAINed is a digital identity and resource allocation system that grants refugees power over their self sovereignty, while making resource distribution more effective and efficient for humanitarian aid organizations. It links biometrically secure identity profiles to token wallets, making it possible to disburse cash-based aids directly to refugees without the need for thirty-party interference (such as banks).
- Runner Up: Arcadia
- Team members: Team members: Elisa Pasquali (epg), (Ana Zamfir (ancaz), Ioana Stanescu (osninja)
Much like unCHAINed, Arcadia’s concern is to ensure refugees don’t have to go face the legal problems that they often face to access cash (and material) aids — due to lack of identification documents.
However, instead of securing an identity for thousands of displaced people, Arcadia’s software platform empowers aid organizations (and NGOs) to offer identity-less cash transfer services to refugees, acting as the gatekeeper between donors and refugees.
What was in store for winners?
A total cash prize of $50,000 USD was distributed among the best teams of each challenge category:
- $10,000 for winners, $2,500 for runner-ups.
- Business development training for all winning teams to accelerate solutions beyond PoC stage.
- Exposure and visibility across BSIC channels, networks, and more.
- Opportunity to showcase their solutions in front of the most reputable impact investors, NGOs, philanthropists, charities during conference in June in Washington, D.C.
Want to be part of exciting challenges like this? Join the Topcoder Blockchain Community now!