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Media

Online Hackathons Seek to Combat COVID-19

Matthew Warner | May 2020

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues, people around the world are increasingly seeking to find ways to mitigate the impact it has on our lives - from the health implications and casualties it causes to the wider effects it is having on our day-to-day lives as vast numbers practice social isolation and try to continue working and keep things running remotely.

Efforts to combat these issues are being developed in many different areas and the blockchain and crypto worlds are no exception to this. At Blockpass, we recently revealed that we are looking to partner with healthcare providers to test COVID-19 ‘passports’. 

Already up-and-running, the COVIDathon DAIA Decentralised AI Alliance Hackathon is being led by SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol. Beginning on the 1st of April and will be running for two months until the 1st of June, the event already has almost 750 participants at the time of writing. Utilizing AI and/or blockchain technology, the hackathon aims to develop solutions with open-source code which can be used to relieve some of the stresses of the current pandemic and reduce the chance or other pandemics from occurring in the future. The hackathon has designated four categories to focus on – ‘Medicine and Epidemiology’, ‘Data Privacy and Sovereignty’, ‘Informational and Coping Tools’ and ‘Open Innovation’, though participants are encouraged to tackle any and all of these areas if they can. 

Successful outcomes will be utilised in decentralized networks following the hackathon, but a panel of expert judges will determine the winners. This panel will include a number of professionals, including Edinburgh Napier University’s and Blockpass Identity Lab’s Adam Hall in his position as Leader of the Security and Identity Team at OpenMined! Prizes will be awarded in the form of $OCEAN tokens with a combined prize pool value of around US$50,000, awarded to the top teams as well as the most helpful community members. Check out their discord channel for more information or to get involved. 

Organized by DAOStack and CryptoChicks, the Share Our Strength (SOS) Planet Wide Hackathon is due to take place between the 29th of May and the 16th of June. The competition focuses on two general areas, the first being remote solutions for businesses and people, and the second being solutions to help support local businesses, communities and people. In addition, awards will be given for ‘Top Business Ideas’ and ‘Top Women-Led Teams’ to encourage participation from those without a focus on technical skill and to promote diversity respectively. The winner of this hackathon will be chosen by the crowd, as each participant will gain voting rights and ‘voting power’ is also tied to activity, such as posting and messaging, to stimulate participation. Registration for this event is currently open.  

We are likely to see a significant boost in the number of technological solutions being implemented to solve the current issues being faced by the world, and events such as these are a great way to get involved and see what we can expect in the future. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is a dreadful thing to go through, one silver lining might be that it will open up doors for new technology to prove its worth.