The United Arab Emirates has launched a blockchain competition to encourage the development of blockchain-powered software and apps focused on education and social care. The contest will award around $16,300 in prizes to the winning contestants.
The country’s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) announced the contest during the GITEX Technology Week. The event is held at the Dubai World Trade Center and will run from October 6 to 10.
The competition, “Social Blockathon,” aims to boost the development of blockchain-powered applications and software to be utilized in the educational, recreational, and social sectors.
MOCD Information Technology Advisor Saeed Abdulla said the contest is open to everyone who wants to create and share ideas on how to improve the community. The new development will be via smart apps that will help enhance the ministry’s goal to provide proactive services and support sustainable visions for community development.
The contestants will be tasked to design and create blockchain-based apps within a specific time frame. They also cannot use pre-designed applications and software.
The contest will be open until February 1, 2020, with the prizes awarded in the UAE’s currency, the dirham (AED). Winners will be revealed during the country’s Innovation Month, which will be held on February 2020.
The winning entry and developer will receive 30,000 AED ($8,200), while the second-place winner will receive 20,000 AED ($5,400). Meanwhile, the third placer will get 10,000 AED ($2,700).
The UAE’s Ministry of Community Development is in charge of developing and implementing the country’s social policies and its corresponding legislation. The department is also responsible for the various social welfare systems and enacts specific policies related to marriage and other aspects of living in the region.
Emirates Vision 2021
The MOCD plans to enhance the country’s social development by attempting to meet the goals of Emirates Vision 2021, the country’s vaunted national development plan.
The program reportedly sets critical topics for the country’s economic and social development. It has already called for a change to a knowledge-focused and diversified economy.
One element that the country’s vision wants to focus on is blockchain technology. So far, the country has shown to be willing to embrace this technology. The state introduced a proof-of-concept founded on the ProximaX Sirius blockchain back in November 2018. The move heralded the start of the UAE’s implementation of its blockchain drive.
Other initiatives were also launched this year, like the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s blockchain system for the improved sharing and recording of healthcare data that was rolled-out in September. Earlier in the year, the real estate group of the Executive Council of Dubai, the Dubai Land Department, collaborated with Mashreq Bank to introduce a blockchain-powered mortgage platform.