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Global Blockchain Challenge begins search for innovative projects

Smart Dubai has launched its third-stage global search for blockchain start-ups that will contribute to the implementation of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy 2020.

The competition will help identify highly skilled individuals with innovative and ambitious ideas and bring them to Dubai where they can pilot their projects to channel blockchain technology towards improving the lives of its residents. The emirate seeks to establish itself as the international capital for Blockchain and become the first city fully powered by the technology.

 “To build a truly smart city we must establish and empower a holistic blockchain ecosystem,” said Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai. “This includes building the advanced infrastructure for the technology to thrive, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to attract talented and ambitious individuals and start-ups and empower them to implement their innovations – and that is the essence of the Blockchain Challenge.”

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

“Building this ecosystem is a catalyst for the Dubai Paperless Strategy and the transition to a paperless government by the year 2021, as well as a key requirement for successfully implementing the Dubai Blockchain Strategy,” Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr added.

The shortlisted teams will be invited to come to Dubai for the Future Blockchain Summit, which will take place 2-3 April at the Dubai World Trade Centre. They will begin training with DFA ahead of the final Blockchain Challenge Presentation and Awarding Ceremony.

Finalists will participate in a five-day programme, which will include an introduction to the UAE culture and processes of conducting business in the country and pitch presentation training. There will be a final pitch competition held as part of the Future Blockchain Summit, to an audience of investors, experts, private and public institutions.

Three winners will receive a cash prize and have the opportunity to implement their product or service in Dubai.

Last year, Ireland’s AID Tech won first place, with the UAE’s Smart Crowd and the USA’s Codex finishing second and third.

The challenge is organised in partnership with the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and is the vision of H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the “happiest city on earth.”