BILHack Explores Blockchain Possibilities

October 2018
At the end of last month, following a successful week of events in Edinburgh around the launch of the Blockpass Identity Lab (BIL), the lab hosted its very first hackathon - BILHack. Taking place over the weekend of the 29th-30th of September, the free event was held at the Edinburgh Napier University Merchiston Campus and was open to everyone, with the challenge of creating something that was related to digital identity, blockchain, or other distributed ledger technologies. Overseen by Liam Bell, BIL Lead Researcher, the main goal of the event was to come up with a use-case for the technology, with employees from Blockpass and Uniqx on hand to advise.

The competition began on Saturday morning, with participants quickly forming into groups to work on solutions. The attendees fell into two categories - those working on Blockpass-related possibilities, and those working around Uniqx - with roughly equal numbers in both camps. The groups worked hard throughout the weekend in the university labs, with light refreshment and the necessary computing equipment provided.


Culminating on Sunday afternoon, participants presented their ideas to a panel of judges from the BIL as well as either Blockpass or Uniqx, depending on their pitch. Winners of each had prizes awarded, ranging from merchandise to Trezor hardware wallets to cash.


A humanitarian solution won the prize on the Blockpass side. The idea was to use Blockpass for an identity solution in refugee camps which would allow refugees to record and provide attestations of skill - such as carpentry, midwifery, management or anything else. This could then be used to empower communities to form and work together more easily and could also be used by governmental bodies which work in the camps to identify those with useful skills more easily. It was posited that it would also allow those who had to flee their homes and who had lost records of certification to showcase their skills and eventually give them an avenue to prove their skills in a formal manner.

On the Uniqx side, the winning solution was centred around a marketplace which would use non-fungible tokens to link to limited edition physical goods, with the team envisaging them being used by people to would otherwise have to wait in lines for stores for hours or even days in order to be ‘the first to own’ an item or to obtain specific serial numbers etc.

The event generated some very interesting ideas and proved thoroughly enjoyable for all involved. The BIL will be hosting further hackathons in the future so be sure to follow news and updates from Blockpass and BIL for more information as it is released, or contact Liam Bell for questions about the lab and hackathons.