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Blockchain This Week: Farmer’s Kids Win Blockchain Hackathon, Blockchain Fights Deforestation & More

Blockchain This Week: Farmer’s Kids Win Blockchain Hackathon, Blockchain Fights Deforestation & More

Out of $8.5 Mn blockchain investments, India has been at less than 0.2%

Zubi-IBCOL plans to help students apply cryptography and blockchain solutions to real-world problems across India

Nigeria's MIPAD to use blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and data science to identify and geo-tag planted trees

In recent times, blockchain technology has been gaining a lot of momentum across various industry verticals. Most certainly, the trend is shifting from the pilot stage to actual use cases. Nearly, 50% of the blockchain projects are driven by startups. For the ecosystem to thrive in the long run, it requires the support of all the stakeholders involved, including government, investors, innovators and entrepreneurs.

According to NASSCOM Avasant India Blockchain Report 2019, the investments through venture capital firms (VCs) or initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the blockchain ecosystem in India are at less than 0.2% out of $8.5 Mn globally. The drop in the investment collides with the uncertain policy and regulatory norms in the country.

This cautious regulatory environment in India is hindering the investment opportunities for both domestic and global investors into Indian startups. Surprisingly, several Indian-based investors are raising funds through VCs and ICOs in other jurisdictions such as Malta, Singapore, UK, Switzerland and others due to open regulatory environments.

Moreover, the uncertainties or risk around blockchain in India has made it difficult for startups to enter the radar of global investors that are specifically looking to invest in blockchain startups developing innovative products or solutions.

Graph Of The Week: Size of the blockchain technology market (2018-2023)

Global blockchain technology revenue is expected to see massive growth in the coming years. Currently, at the size of $2.2 Bn, the market is expected to touch $23.3 Bn by 2023.

Size of the blockchain technology market (2018-2023)

(Source: Statista 2019)

Blockchain News This Week:

Here are the biggest block-related headlines from across the world.

Zubi Partners With IBCOL To Promote Blockchain In India 

A blockchain community platform Zubi partners with International Blockchain Olympiad (IBCOL) to enable its users to apply cryptography and blockchain solutions to real-world problems across India. Through this collaboration, Zubi’s community of students and blockchain enthusiasts will leverage IBCOl’s resources to achieve a decentralised future.

With this, Zubi-IBCOL has started a National Chapter in India (IN-BCOL). The IN-BCOL will be responsible for selecting top-projects for the final round of the IBCOL, which will be held in Hong Kong. Both the parties believe in educating and encouraging people to build a sustainable blockchain talent ecosystem. Most importantly, the duo aims to promote awareness on blockchain technology and its applications and enhance employability by equipping participants with necessary skills.

Farmer’s Kids Win India’s AI, ML And Blockchain Hackathon 

At India’s largest artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and blockchain hackathon held in Pune from December 18 to December 22 organised by Icertis, BlockchainMegaminds won an all-paid trip to Seattle along with INR 5 lakh grand prize.

Interestingly, the winning team members all hailed from agriculture backgrounds. The team utilised ML models to build an app that can analyse crop distress and weather patterns. Additionally, they harnessed blockchain-enabled smart contracts for instant and automated claim settlements to those adversely affected by crop failures and natural disasters.

Team Boopalan were the runners-up with INR 3 lakh cash prize, followed by Team Heuristic at third place, who won INR 2 lakh.

Fighting Deforestation Using Blockchain

Nigeria’s Most Influential People of Africa Descent (MIPAD), through its social impact initiative My Roots in Africa Project, will be planting more than 200 Mn trees by 2024 before the end of the UN International Decade for People of Africa Descent. The company has partnered with Decagon Institute to deploy artificial intelligence and data science to identify and geo-tag trees planted using blockchain technology.

Through this initiative, people can place a request to have a tree named, planted or gifted in honour of themselves or anyone they love. This platform is said to bring transparency and enable users who have planted the trees to know the exact location and be able to see it using satellite imagery using Google Maps. This, in a way, helps prevent allocation of the same tree to more than one person and bring down deforestation.

Blockchain World Forum To Be Held In Dubai 

The Blockchain World Forum (BWF) will be held in Dubai from February 27-28, 2020. The event gives all the industry stakeholders to explore the opportunities and challenges associated with blockchain ecosystem. The platform will enable leading technologists, entrepreneurs, regulators, investors and financial institutions in the emerging blockchain industry.

In addition to this, BWF will be giving out the Blockchain Innovation Awards for the highest achievements from the global blockchain industries and entrepreneurs.

Hedera To Boost Blockchain Startups  

Hedera, a multiple blockchain protocols for improving transaction throughput in digital currency, recently announced the launch of Hedera Boost, where it allows startups to plan, build or launch a blockchain-based application using Hedera.

The platform offers technical guidance and ecosystem tools, marketing and business development support and subsidising transaction fees. The platform lets developers design, and test multiple iterations on Hedera Boost. Once the startup is ready to launch its blockchain application, Hedera claims to be funding the project with $1000 worth of Hedera to cover initial transaction costs.